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Yes, they were here again. This year we welcomed the actors of the Phileas Fogg Theatre Company for two shows in one day, to have our own students perform a play about small children’s lives in the Victorian Age (second half 19th century) in England. After a short rehearsal and sort of make-up session with our 1st-year bilingual students, both havo and vwo, a show was staged for the audience consisting of parents, brothers, sisters and other interested family or friends (and colleagues).
This performance tries to make the students experience the sort of lives their peers in the Victorian Age in England must have led – as chimney-sweeps, as poop-scoopers, as beggars, as factory-workers – in order to survive. Not only did they need to work just for their own sake; often whole families had to make do on what little money these children (of whom there were usually many in one family) earned. Often forced by their parents and by their circumstances they often fell prey to the lowest scum in society – the ones abusing and misusing the youngest of children.
How different from today’s young, with their everything: mobile phones, clubs, clothes, holidays. Glad to be alive today was the life lesson to be learned from this performance, for which we, once again, thank Phileas Fogg - and all of it was IN ENGLISH!