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The Spectacular Zico mesmerises young students

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The thought of entering secondary school can be daunting for some children. Adjustments have to made to a new environment, marking an entirely fresh chapter in their lives. The journey through secondary school will, in some instances, be bumpy, filled with trials and tribulations. And at times they will be faced with negative factors including peer pressure and bullying.

With the stressful Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) finally over for some 19,000 pupils, secondary school however, is just around the corner. To equip them to properly handle life stresses, family theatre producer/director and veteran actor Fareid Carvalho showcased his hit play The Spectacular Zico, on Tuesday at Queen’s Hall, Port-of- Spain.

Scores of excited students who attended described it as “fantastic,” “entertaining,” and “a good guide not only to secondary school but life generally.”

Joanne Romany, teacher at Briggs Pre School, urged that the show is “a must.”

She noted: “It’s one with sound family and educational values. It teaches about being kind, having respect for each other and for animals and the value of true friendship.”

One primary school pupil, who gave her name as Sarah, said the characters transported her into a magical world.

“During my preparation for SEA I hardly got any time to relax. It was all about work and sacrifice.

“After seeing the play I felt inspired because I am into chorale speaking and I would like to pursue drama in secondary school. I think drama has a whole world of opportunities which are not explored,” she added.

Aaron Huggins, of the San Juan South Secondary, shared sillier sentiments, urging that pupils ought to be exposed to the arts from an early age.

“The play is about having good manners and respecting your elders. Drama can be used to teach subjects and get children more involved in their school work.

“Sometimes school life can become tedious like maths which can become difficult. Drama is a good means to get children involved in subjects like English,” Huggins said.

Zico Returns, chronicles difficult decisions that most children encounter in growing up. It deals with family life and the struggles of a single-parent home facing adversity. It also focuses on the power of love and friendship and respecting both humans and animals.

The initial play, Zico was shown a couple of weeks before the SEA exam on May 4.

Not wanting those pupils to miss out, Carvalho held another showing, hence Zico Returns.

“My first show was two weeks before SEA and I knew those preparing could not attend. Since then I have been bombarded by principals to bring back the play,” Carvalho said.

But moreso he believes that drama is a medium which needs to be properly tapped into.

“The theatre industry is dynamic and its a pity many fail to recognise that. We need to expose the younger generation to the theatre world and all the endless possibility it holds,” Carvalho urged.

For the past 17 years Carvalho’s plays have been much sought after by schools.

“Sacred Heart Girls’ bought 800 tickets for the last showing.

In each of the plays I incorporate values and morals and it’s done in a setting where children can relate.

“If a teacher says, ‘Stay in school or do your home work’, students don’t really take them on but if a magical character says the same thing including not to join a gang, they listen,” Carvalho said.

He bemoaned the fact that space was a problem in hosting large productions. If this can be addressed it will be a boost for the theatre industry.

He has also worked with private and Government agencies in raising awareness regarding issues affecting children and was the figure behind producing the Ministry’s of Health “Fight the Fat Campaign.”

Zico Returns runs until today, May 24, at Queen’s Hall with 9.30 am and 1 pm shows.


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