Anna Newell on Grow: 'It's about spring, but also the joy of movement as you're developing'

Anna Newell on Grow: 'It's about spring, but also the joy of movement as you're developing'

credit: Brian Hartley

Indepen-dance 4's newest production for under 5s captures that new sense of wonder

You know your first show is a success, when you start getting 'second album fear' – which is exactly what Anna Newell is feeling right now. Already a seasoned director of theatre for young people, Four Go Wild in Wellies was her first foray into integrated dance, when she worked with Glasgow-based company Indepen-dance 4.

A big hit both at home and abroad, the show was also Indepen-dance's debut attempt at a show for under 5s, and was such a success they've invited Newell back. Whereas Four Go Wild in Wellies had a very autumnal feel, new production Grow finds spring in the air.

'It started life with a whole other title, but what emerged during the rehearsal process was a show about springtime,' explains Newell. 'And I don't want to give too much away, but it starts from a tiny little seed poking out of a mound of earth – and then very playfully, the actors kind of become those seed pots and grow, blossom and flower.'

One of the most endearing aspects of Four Go Wild in Wellies was the sense of discovery, as the four characters struggled, then triumphed, with basic tasks such as pulling on their socks. Aimed once again at a pre-school audience, Grow also captures that new sense of wonder.

'It's about spring, but also the joy of movement as you're developing, which you really see in that 3–5 age range,' says Newell. 'Kids love to walk on walls or spin round and round, because they're exploring how that feels.'

Platform, Glasgow, Wed 17 Apr; The Brunton, Musselburgh, Wed 1 May; and touring.

Grow

A springtime dance adventure from Indepen-dance 4, composer David Goodall and Hayley Earlam's choreography.

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