Dr Terrorvision reminds children to get off the sofa and get active
Picture caption: Composer and actor Paul Dale Vickers working with pupils from Castleton Primary School to create the Dr Terrorvision musical.
An innovative musical is heading to schools across Leeds to encourage children to reduce the amount of time they spend watching TV and playing computer games and more time being active and playing out.
As part of a city-wide campaign Leeds City Council’s children and families public health team have specially commissioned a musical theatre production that will focus on encouraging families to set a limit on ‘screen time’ and enjoy being active. The musical will be premiered at Castleton Primary School next week, where it will be performed by Year 4 children to their families.
Dr Terrorvision is a humorous and touching musical specially written and composed by ‘All Things Considered’ theatre company with the children at Castleton. The musical will be reproduced with the other primary schools in the Armley area.
When: Wednesday 12 June at 2 pm
Where: Castleton Primary School, Green Lane, Armley
Reporters, photographers and broadcast media are welcome to attend the premiere of ‘Dr Terrorvision’. Interviews will be available with representatives from the school, Leeds public health and All Things Considered.
Please contact the press office on 0113 2474713 if you are planning to attend.
Emma Bramley, Director of All Things Considered said: “All Things Considered and Castleton Primary School have worked in partnership to devise and create a musical exploring the effects and consequences of too much screen time. Working with some highly talented Year Four children they have created a brand new, terrifying journey involving zombies, Terror World and Dr Tv...so you'd better beware!”
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive board member responsible for public health, said: “This musical is a fun and entertaining way of getting a very important message across to families in Leeds. There are so many risks to being sedentary and spending a lot of time in front of a screen, be it a TV, PC, tablet or phone. It can affect children’s health and eating habits, their concentration and development, as well as exposing them to excessive advertising.
“We want families to act responsibly and look at how long their children are spending in front of a screen. By setting limits, parents can make sure their children are getting the opportunity to play outside, be creative and get healthy.”
Judith Nofolk, head teacher at Castleton primary school said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our children very seriously. We have been involved in the Armley Change4Life project since it began and have seen many benefits for our children and families through this. We were proud to be approached to develop this musical and feel it shows our commitment towards education the children and families in the benefits of healthy lifestyles.”
Throughout June posters and flyers will be going out to all schools in the city with the Change4Life “Up and About” message
From September all Leeds schools will be offered the scripts and soundtracks to stage the musical in their schools, funded by public health. The musical will be performed by children aged 7 – 11 years for their families and will help bring to life the information on the risks of TV and Screen time and the importance of being active in a fun and engaging way.
For more details or to book the musical email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Screen Time?Time spent watching TV or on mobile phones, games consoles, computers etc
How much do we watch?• The overall time spent in front of screens by 5 -16 year-olds in Britain was nearly six hours a day not including any school time
• The average 10-year-old has access to five different screens at home
What are the risks of sedentary behaviour and excessive screen time?
Excessive TV viewing can out children at risk of being overweight or obese
Unhealthy eating habits• TV viewing acts as a distraction resulting in a lack of awareness of actual food consumption, leading to over consumption and increased energy intake
Sedentary behaviour• Some evidence shows that high levels of sedentary behaviour are linked to obesity, independently of physical activity levels
Exposure to TV advertising• Television advertises mainly highly processed, energy dense products
• Overweight and obese children and those who watch high levels of TV are particularly susceptible to food promotion on TV
Summary of health risks of excessive screen time• Affects brain and language development in young children
• Encourages “mindless” eating
• Slows down metabolic rate
• Leads to sedentary habits
• Associated with obesity
Change4Life campaign suggests; “It can help to set a limit on how long we sit still in front of TV, computer or video games. Some families have found saying “2 hours max” of screen time each day helps make sure kids jump up and play or go outside once they have been sitting around for a while”.
Aim of the Musical: To create a short piece of musical theatre for primary age school children to perform for their families with the intention of:
o Raising the issue of TV/screen time and its effects on children’s health and wellbeing
o Raising the issue of the importance of physical activity and free play for children’s health and wellbeing
o Encouraging behaviour change in families around limiting TV/screen time and encouraging children to be active
All Things Considered:
Paul Dale Vickers trained as an actor graduating from Bretton Hall in 1995.. Most significantly Paul played the lead role of Jean Valjean in the west end musical production of Les Misérables. We have found that children love the fact they are working with someone who has worked professionally in the field as it provides them with a positive role model. Paul is also a freelance composer of music for theatre, a notable collaboration is with the pioneering British artists ‘Lone Twin’. Paul has led master classes in musical theatre performance for and on behalf of Cameron Mackintosh Ltd and is able to take children though the process of developing their confidence in singing as well as writing and composing music. He has a PGCE in post compulsory education and an MA in Contemporary Theatre Practice.
Emma Bramley has worked for over fifteen years within schools and communities developing drama for learning projects. She has devised numerous, high quality performances with children and understands fully the challenges of this type of work. Her work is both humorous and factual making sure there is a good balance to engage both participants and audiences. She is currently involved in working with Lancashire Police, The Children’s Society and Banardo’s to create a piece of theatre exploring issues around exploitation of children.
In addition to her theatre work Emma works extensively in schools and universities training teachers in creative approaches to learning. She works extensively with schools training staff, offering one to one planning support as well as professional mentoring. She has been commissioned to create resource packs for Imaginative Inquiry and for Child Action North West. She is also a fully qualified teacher and writes articles for Teaching Drama on how to facilitate drama lessons effectively.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713