Star Wars fans get taste of movie life at Portsmouth theatre’s workshop day

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James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

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MANY Star Wars fans dream of finding out what goes into the making of the epic movie franchise.

Now a group of schoolchildren from Portsmouth have been lucky enough to discover more about the cool special effects and skills behind the films.

I love Star Wars. I think the theatre is quite good, it’s very detailed and a very special place. I would encourage other people to come here.

Wimborne Junior School pupil Taylor Searle

A special Star Wars workshop was held for youngsters from Wimborne Junior School at Groundlings Theatre in Portsea, Portsmouth yesterday.

Around 85 Year 5 pupils learned more about how lightsabers are used during fight scenes in the movies – the brainchild of mastermind George Lucas.

They also had fun admiring replica props and costumes before going on a tour of the historic theatre.

And those who attended the workshop said they had a great time.

Avid Star Wars fan Taylor Searle, nine, said: ‘I love Star Wars.

‘The theatre is quite good. It’s very detailed and a special place. I would encourage other people to come here.’

Charlie Munt, 10, said: ‘My favourite part was the lightsaber training and finding out how they were used in the films and how hand doubles were used.

‘I’m a big fan of Star Wars – 100 per cent.’

Eloise O’Leary, nine, said: ‘I enjoyed the lightsaber training.’

The day was held to help children with a topic they are studying at school – lights, camera action – which is helping them learn more about theatre and film.

Wimborne Year 5 teacher David Byrne said: ‘It’s been great – engagement has been great.

‘The children have been focused and really interested.

‘A lot of them love Star Wars. When we phoned up the theatre and asked what it could put on, a Star Wars workshop came up. And we knew it would be great.

‘The films are still around and relevant to the children.’

Richard Stride, the theatre’s artistic director, enjoyed dressing up as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Richard said: ‘It’s not just about film and theatre and about the arts and how to get into the television industry.

‘A lot of the skills that film and television use are life long skills that children gain as well.

‘Listening, good communication, and the ability to work as a group are things that can be taken into industries which they wish to work in.’