Nine-year-old Jose Fuentes was justifiably surprised when the owner of his school gave each pupil a single shoe on the first day of term. When asked why, Jose explained, “He told us if we turned up every day for the whole term, then he’d give us the other one on the last day.”
But Jose never got the other shoe as his family required him to work as they needed the money Jose earned selling sweets on Santiago’s night buses to buy food to live and pay the rent. As he couldn’t attend school enough, his attendance was too poor, and so only ever had one shoe.
This participatory theatre programme for upper primary students explored the transitioning experience from primary to secondary school, unpacking the major changes pupils would face as they start their secondary education and the impact this time will have upon family and friends. The schools package was part of an anti-racist awareness programme, and was one of a series of bilingual Theatre-in-Education plays presented by the company in English and Sylheti Bengali.