The Stage: Kids’ company cabined, cribbed, confined by cold


The recent snowy conditions have proved to be a rather pesky matter. Across south-east England, blizzards, ice, train delays and traffic jams have become commonplace.

And while the UK’s Highways Agency, which manages the country’s roads, is reported to have said that it was prepared for the cold snap, touring theatre company Shakespeare 4 Kidz certainly was not.

The troupe was en route from Gravesend to its next destination of Worthing when trouble hit. Finding themselves in a traffic jam on the M23 when they were only halfway to the seaside town, the busload of company members decided to stay put and take refuge in a local service station for the evening.

Little did they know that the next day, after a less than glamorous night spent on the coach, they were to be interviewed by Sky News reporters for the broadcaster’s morning bulletin.

Despite this, company manager Emma Bennett barely had a hair out of place during the interview and managed to see the funny side of her company – currently touring Shakespeare’s The Tempest – experiencing a storm of its own.

“We were totally boxed in at the service station – wheels were spinning, it was blowing a blizzard and icy cold. It was quite clear we would have to spend the night on the bus,” she told reporters.

She then added: “Everyone in the company helped keep morale up while in the midst of our very own winter’s tale.”

Any excuse for a plug.

What they say about us:

S4K ROMEO: "My husband and I took our (reluctant) ten year old son and our eleven year old (slightly more reluctant!) nephew to watch Romeo and Juliet at The Lowry theatre. Wow! The performance of the company was truly outstanding. Both boys were immediately captivated ('Star Wars' style intro - genius idea!) and remained that way throughout (allowing for the odd embarrased squirm during the 'mushy bits'!). You have a talented group of people who really help children understand that Shakespeare isn't something to be afraid of but to be thoroughly enjoyed. I'll certainly be taking them to other performances and as a school governor, will be recommending you to our head teacher. In such a talented group it's difficult, almost unfair, to pick out one particular actor but if you could possibly pass on my regards to the actor who played the part of Mercutio I would be grateful - the boys absolutely adored him - as did the whole theatre! What a talent!