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    The Button Box

    'The Button Box' is a journey around the world in song!  The music is very varied and colourful, and the show is well suited to a large cast, making it an excellent whole school or end of year production.

    Alice and Jack are staying with their grandparents.  The rain is pouring down, so they're stuck inside and very bored. While squabbling, they accidentally knock over Grandma's button box - and an assortment of weird and wonderful buttons spill out across the floor. These buttons were all collected by Uncle Jack, and there's a story behind each one.  As the children hand the buttons to Grandma she explains where they came from - and the full story behind each button is revealed in a song. The dialogue also reveals some interesting family history - and Grandad’s failed attempts to go on a diet!

    Fourteen songs and an Irish dance are cleverly interwoven within a play that has plenty of other dance opportunities. Presentations, in whatever form, can use all or any combination of the songs. Song styles and ‘flavours’ include:- Australian Aborigine, Chinese, Jamaican, African, American, Indian and Irish, as well as music hall, pop and sea shanty.

    "We've just finished our performances of 'The Button Box'. It was my second time doing your show and once again it was a huge success. The structure of it works so well for a primary school production...  It's light-hearted, warm and very enjoyable for teachers and children to work on.  Every night the audience walked out humming the tunes, so that's always a good sign!"  ~  L Dryland, Teacher, New Zealand.   

    [Scroll down for more reviews, samples, photos, video etc.]

     
    Author: John Gleadall
    Age guide: 8 to 12
    Running time: 55 mins - perf. licence required
    No. of songs: 14 + dance
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    - The Button Box - IPL
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    Send us your review

    If you enjoyed putting on this show, please email us a simple review to info@starshine.co.uk

    Really enjoyable.

    Review by Jenny Dunning - Energize co-ordinator, Bucks Area Educational Alliance
    The children really enjoyed singing and performing 'The Button Box'. When they came off stage they were elated with the performance. Energize this year had all the outcomes of the project that we were looking for, children and staff from different schools working together on a performance project that brought together some of the Wycombe community.

    Most successful production

    Review by F McLeod - Music Co-ordinator, All Saints' College Australia
    We believe this is one of our most successful productions to date. The flexibility of the songs and dramatic content was perfect for us.The children loved the variety of songs and musical styles.

    Wonderful show.

    Review by Sandie Parker - Senior Prep Phase Head, S. Africa
    A wonderful show. We enjoyed ourselves a great deal!

    Loved it!

    Review by Stephanie - Student, Essex
    I remember doing the Button Box for my year 4 primary school production! I loved it! I still have the DVD, and it's great watching it. My friends and I are always reminiscing the memories from it. It's a great way to see how much we've all grown up and changed. But the Button Box truly was great fun and a very good sing song production!

    Huge success!

    Review by Leah Dryland - Teacher, New Zealand
    We've just finished our performances of 'The Button Box'. It was my second time doing your show and once again it was a huge success. The structure of it works so well for a primary school production. I have recommended it to other teacher friends, and last term there were 2 other local schools also doing it in the same week as us! We had approx 300 students to accommodate and 'The Button Box' works perfectly for a large cast. You can easily have around 20 kids in each scene and they all get their special moment on stage (parents are very thankful for this too!!) - rather than just walking on and off again in 2 seconds. I would definitely be keen to use more of your plays - this show is light-hearted, warm and very enjoyable for teachers and children to work on. Every night the audience walked out humming the tunes, so that's always a good sign!

    Loved it!

    Review by Helen Maxey - Teacher, New Zealand
    We loved learning and performing the script and music for 'The Button Box'.

    Perfect Show!

    Review by Miss Graham -junior School Drama Teacher, Edinburgh
    The Button Box was the perfect show for our Primary 4's to perform this year! The children absolutely loved the story and the songs. We all had a wonderful time rehearsing the production and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the performances. I would definitely recommend this show to other schools and I would love to do it again in the future. Our favourite song was 'Belly Button Boogie', we even had the audience joining in on the last night!

    Fun To Produce And Perform

    Review by Rose Steele - Teacher, Gloucestershire
    We had 120 Year 2s and 3s performing this 3 times this week, and it got a great reaction due to all of the different cultures represented and how original it was. We put a suitable, fun dance to all of the songs. Parents and staff loved it and it was such fun to produce and perform. We had 7 and 8 year olds doing solos and it was wonderful. Costumes were excellent and with lights, musicians and props it looked brilliant.

    Truly Marvelous

    Review by Jinma
    me and my class did this play and it spectacular. i wish i could do it again!

    Wonderful

    Review by Mrs K Rankin - Teacher, Nottinghamshire We have recently performed The Button Box as our end of term play and I would just like to say how wonderful it was! I am a Y6 teacher and my class absolutely loved the storyline and parts to this play (we even had to create some extra parts using the ideas within the songs!) rnWe had 3 performances in total and they were all fantastic - we had many lovely comments from parents and relatives about the production.rn

    Adored 'belly Button Boogie'.

    Review by Val Weston - Teacher, Wiltshire
    Songs from 'The Button Box' launched our Multicultural Arts Week. We adored 'Belly Button Boogie' and the 'Bombay Button'. The rap number, 'Button Your Lip', linked to our emotional literacy, is already a firm assembly favourite.

    Refreshing And Comprehensive Resource.

    Review by Review - Zone Magazine
    What a refreshing and comprehensive resource The Button Box is! It is a collection of songs from around the world inspired by stories told by Grandma (about her button collection) to her two grandchildren. A wealth of song styles, flavours of music and historical and cultural concepts are cleverly intermingled as the children question her on the origin of the buttons. The materials are suited to Key Stage 2 children, and even more suited to the teachers! What a relief to find such thoughtfully prepared resources with such depth of background information and ease of use! I was immediately impressed with the professionalism of the pack which included a songbook (primarily for piano and voice), CD Rom and musical CD?s ? song demonstrations and backing tracks, full script and lyrics. The materials are so supportive that non-specialist class teachers will happily be able to stage this, and specialists will relish the range and stretch which is available within it. There is also additional information on the Starshine website: www.starshine.co.uk and additional links to websites to enhance further study of the many possible areas of interest (for pupil or teacher use) including the Quicken Trust which Starshine Music supports. The song styles and musical ?flavours? include Australian Aborigine, Chinese, Jamaican, African, American, Indian and Irish as well as music hall, pop, and sea shanty. There is even an interesting little song devoted to chocolate with a snappy ostinato and more distracting website links on the subject ? they really have thought of everything! The songs are extremely well-written with ample opportunity for solos, part-singing, choreography, additional instruments and humour! It is also rewarding to see how musical the songs are in that they structure and modulate effectively to give that ?big show? feel which so many songs for children lack. It is especially well-suited to upper Key Stage 2 alone or a Key Stage two production in order to fully use the songs to their potential, however the beauty of it is that you really can select the most suitable songs for your children without the cuts being made evident!

    Great Fun.

    Review by J Smith - Music Teacher, Hampshire
    Great fun, the children just love it and sing the songs all the time.

    Treat For Everybody.

    Review by Dale Robinson - Assistant Head Teacher, North Yorkshire
    All our Yr 3 and 4s performed 'The Button Box' - a total treat for everybody. The children were still singing the songs well after the production was finished!

    Such Variety

    Review by Angela Hurst - Teacher, Cornwall All the children (including the yr 6 boys and sports stars!) were motivated to take part - Hooray! I would strongly recommend this to other schools. It presents such variety and everyone who took part in the show appeared on stage at some point.

    Absolutely Fantastic!

    Review by Mr. M. Holt - Head Teacher, Herefordshire.
    'The Button Box' was absolutely fantastic! The variety of musical styles was tremendous, and there were lots of dance opportunities. From year 1 to year 6, everyone could be involved. The children loved it

    Children Loved It.

    Review by Miss Naomi Kenyon - Rochdale
    This is the fourth Starshine production we have done and they just keep getting better and better!!! There are 26 children in our class which is year 5 and 6. The children had 4 weeks to learn it after SATs. They choreographed their own dances, thought of the accessories to go with each scene, to keep it simple yet effective, and made their own posters and programmes to advertise the perfomance! The children loved it and they performed it for our local senior citizens and had a night time performance which was attended by 76 people. I am a teaching assistant in our school and I am so proud of all the children's efforts that they put into this performance.

    Such A Quality Product.

    Review by Tracy Kubler - Teacher, Queensland
    Well, it has been a couple of weeks since our performance of the Button Box in sunny Queensland, Australia, and we are all still humming the tunes. Thank you for providing such a quality product - it was well written and produced, as well as the pack being incredibly easy to use. We put on two performances (each was sold out), we had a different group of lead actors on each night and a total of 227 children performing (it was wonderfully frantic backstage!). We had everybody from the prep class to the Year 7's (age range 4 - 12 years) involved and there wasn't one class who didn't enjoy the song/s that they performed. The audience loved it too ... so everybody was happy! Congratulations on such a good product.

    Fantastic Performance.

    Review by Rob Van Der Eyken - Teacher, Bahrain
    All those involved in the 'Button Box' musical journey; the children, class teachers, parents and music teachers agreed that it was a fantastic performance to create, with a wonderful story and amazing songs. The audience of all ages; family, friends and Governors thoroughly enjoyed it.

    So Adaptable.

    Review by Margaret Rist - Teacher, East Sussex.
    Three classes of 7 - 9year olds performed 'The Button Box'. We all thoroughly enjoyed teaching the songs, rehearsing the dances and learning the words. The beauty of the way it is written is that it is so adaptable. Every child (about 90 in all) had a part and we were able to share out scenes and songs between classes which made rehearsing easier. Many thanks.

    So Appealing.

    Review by V O'byrne - Teacher, Hampshire.
    Very easy to deliver - the children wanted to sing the songs - I incorporated the Infants and they loved it! Easy To Sing. Review by C Mcelhinney - Teacher, Hampshire The children enjoyed the performance. The Button Box songs are easy to sing and are very good for developing awareness of other cultures.

    • Button Box 1
    • Button Box 2
    • Button Box 3
    • Button Box 4