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Close up image of Dev Pater as David Copperfield

Star in your own play

Here’s your chance to get your hands on a Hollywood script.

The Personal History of David Copperfield will be hitting the big screen soon, but schools have an exclusive chance to use the script to put on a performance and raise money for BBC Children in Need.

We’ve developed a starter kit for schools – a guide to staging a sell-out performance, including tips on how to raise as much money as possible! Keep reading for more handy tools!

** Remember, your performance doesn’t have to take place before BBC Children in Need appeal day on 15 November – you can put on the production anytime in the school year and pay in your fundraising afterwards. **

Watch the trailer

Get a flavour of the story to help you get into character by watching the trailer now!

Seven Steps to Success!

Follow these easy steps to guide you through staging a star performance and raising lots of money for BBC Children in Need!

Step 1

1. Read the story synopsis, list of characters and script as a class

Discuss what you’ve read and brainstorm ideas on how to bring the production to life. E.g. how to interpret the characters, the treatment e.g. if you want to give the play a modern twist etc.

Step 2

2. Decide on production roles

Don’t worry if you’ve got stage fright, there are still plenty of ways to be involved in the production behind the scenes! Take a look at the list of production roles on offer, sign up and get involved.

Step 3

3. Audition your cast & get rehearsing

Now you’ve found your A-team behind the scenes, it’s time to find the talent for the stage. Make sure everyone knows the time and place for the auditions, which roles you’re auditioning for and which scenes in the script people need to practice.

Once the cast is place, secure the school hall (or other suitable location) and set a date for the performance – working back from that date to create your rehearsal timetable.

Step 4

4. Get your fundraising team together and get selling!

Get your fundraising team together and get planning. Set a fundraising target, decide the price of tickets and how many you plan to sell and what other activities you can include to raise funds! Decide what tools you’ll need (e.g. posters, flyers, tickets etc.) and get selling!

Don’t forget your school’s social media, newsletter, website and blog – as well as sending a letter home to parents. Now’s the time to let local press and businesses know what you’re doing too!

Step 5

5. Source set, props and costumes design

Start bringing the production to life by sourcing the set, props and costumes. Why not get other school departments engaged who might be able to help you, e.g. music department with sound effects and art department with backdrops.

Step 6

6. Get your Front of House team in place

A professional production starts front of house. Make sure your box office, refreshment stands and seating your audience is a slick operation with a Front of House manager and a team of ushers prepped on the night! Don’t forget to pop Pudsey money boxes up for last minute collections – you could even do an audience whip round!

Step 7

7. Good luck - you’re ready!

The hard work and the wait are over, now it’s time for your class to shine! Congratulate yourselves for putting on a star production and for raising loads of cash BBC Children in Need! Make sure you let everyone know how much you raised once the event is over and let us know too – we’d be happy to send you a certificate for you to proudly display where everyone can see how your hard work paid off.

A Message From Director Armando Ianucci

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