I came across a reference earlier this week to the adventure playground scene in the British documentary Seven Up!. The ongoing popularity of this television documentary made it relatively easy to find on the wonderbox as I sometimes call the internet. The acceleration of the opening sequence is zippingly exhilarting.
The first installment of the documentary, directed by Paul Almond for Granada TV and from which this excerpt is pulled, was broadcast in 1964 when the kids were all seven-years-old. The subsequent docs were shot at 7 year intervals and directed by Michael Apted. 56 Up is expected to be broadcast in May 2012.
Play with a child until the age of seven and you have planted a seed that will bloom over and over through the years.
I wonder how many of the now aging adults remember that day in London nearly 50 years ago? After a party and a trip to the zoo, the kids had an outing at this unidentified playground. Was it the first and last time they played together? I say let’s get the remaining participants into playground scenes with their children and grandchildren for 56 Up.
The Up Series is widely acclaimed and now available as a boxed DVD set. Excerpts of the film are also posted on YouTube. Michael Apted is interviewed about the series here.
When my kids Noah-David (6) and Nellie-Rose (4) watched this footage earlier today, they wanted to know when we could go and play at this playground and why there weren’t adventure playgrounds where we live. I said we’ll try for a trip across the pond, or to California where the spirit and the manifestation of adventure playgrounds are alive and well.
London continues to be noted for its adventure playgrounds. Check London Play for more details.
Seven Uppers – thanks for this playground scene all those years ago. It is full of adventure, play and the magical breath of the moment.