A WINCHESTER theatre is offering a workshop and two shows for children during October half term.

The Theatre Royal Winchester will have a workshop for young people called Let’s Explore and performances of Edward Lear’s The Dong with the Luminous Nose and Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man.

The workshop is being run by Playmakers, the community engagement and creative learning arm of the Play to the Crowd charity.

This is for children in school years two-11 and young people aged 19-25 can take part in a series of workshops called Let’s Explore.

The series includes:

l Set and costume design for theatre, which is a practical session where the young people will work with an experienced designer to explore a range of activities and skills to design their own set and costumes.

l Rehearsing and performing monologues will explore a range of monologue rehearsal exercises and performance techniques to help participants perform monologues for auditions and in performance.

l Writing our own plays will see the young writers work with an experienced writer to explore a range of exercises, activities and skills to help them to write their own play scripts.

l Creating plays with others is a session where participants will work collaboratively to explore a range of theatre skills to bring to the stage both existing plays and their own stories.

Playmakers Let’s Explore sessions take place on October 25. The workshops cost £10 and can be booked via www.playmakers.org.uk/join-in or by calling 01962 840 440.

The first show to be performed this October half-term will be The Dong with the Luminous Nose on October 26 and 27.

With a huge and colourful cast of abstract and figurative puppets, The Dong with a Luminous Nose is an absurd take on Edward Lear’s nonsense classic exploring the difficult age between being a child and becoming an adult.

A sequel to the well-known Jumblies, this production seeks to stimulate children’s imagination and provoke audiences to start asking questions.

Director and puppet designer, Peter O’Rourke, said: “The Dong with a Luminous Nose is such a brilliant piece of nonsense; not only is it full of playful elements, but it is atmospheric and deals with deeper emotions.

“In this production, I wanted to explore the issues of isolation and loneliness and of not fitting in that Lear expresses in the poem.

“Lear was a lonely man and I think he saw himself as a somewhat grotesque outsider - which is how the others in the poem seem to see the Dong.”

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Stick Man will be coming to the Theatre Royal Winchester on October 28.

This has been adaptated for the stage by Freckle Productions.

This award-winning production, from the team behind Zog, Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat, features a trio of top actors and is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and dancing.

For more information on The Dong with the Luminous Nose and Stick Man visit theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk.