A couple of weeks ago, as Ten Ten actresses Jimena Larraguivel and Rachel Murray were packing away at the end of a successful day in a primary school on Merseyside, a teacher from the school came into the hall to share an experience he had following the performance of The Gift earlier that day. The Gift is a lovely play for 7-9 year-olds which tells the story of twin sisters Ally and Kate who learn about the preciousness of gifts: Kate’s treasured musical box, given to her by her Auntie who passed away, is accidentally smashed to pieces by Ally. Ally doesn’t understand why Kate is so upset. “After all,” she says, “you can get another one from the pound shop… for a pound!” Through the story, both Ally and Kate (and the children watching) learn about the true value of gifts, what it means to make a gift of yourself and the importance of forgiveness.
In the follow-up discussion, Jimena and Rachel ask the children to think more deeply about the best gift they have ever been given, who gave it to them and why is it so special. On this day, like most days, some of the responses were, naturally, material: Playstations and puppies are always very popular. Other responses told of something deeper: my life or my baby brother. However, one child did not share his response there and then. He told his teacher in class afterwards. And the teacher was so moved by what he had heard that he sought out Rachel and Jimena before they left to share what the little boy had said…
“What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?” the teacher asked the class.
“My mum,” said the boy.
“And why is she so special?”
“Because she adopted me and without her I wouldn’t have been brought up happy,” said the boy.
The boy’s mother, in fact, also taught at the school. So the teacher went to find her and to tell her what her adopted son had said. On hearing this, the boy’s mother crumbled into tears.
I can understand why. This woman has likely given her entire life as a gift to this boy, making a decision to love him, protect him and care for him with all of her heart. Surely this is one of the greatest gifts that a person could choose to give. And yet it is a gift that people throughout the world make moment after moment, day after day. Now, as a result of the visit of Ten Ten, this particular mother knew that her seven-year-old adopted son valued and appreciated the great sacrifice she had made. For Rachel and Jimena – indeed for all of us – it was a moving reminder of the great privilege of this work we have been given.
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We have two performances of our “funny and moving” play, Healthy Heart, coming up at The Leicester Square Theatre. The first one on Saturday 24 November is performed by Miriam and Laura. The second takes place on Saturday 9 February, this time with Jimena and Rachel in the roles. Tickets can be booked online.
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God bless you,
For more information see: http://www.tententheatre.co.uk/index.html