On Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd June 2017, five directors, twenty-two actors and two stage managers came together to show off three original and one scripted performance.
Before the Show Goes On, written by OF Tom Hampson and directed by George Hunt and Coral Langridge, saw seven actors preparing for their own performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Filled with turmoil and humour, they discussed who was really the main character, who was dating who and who was the weak link in the cast. Overall, a fantastically arranged piece of theatre that resonated with many of us in the audience.
A Birthday to Die For was a devised performance by six year 9 students based upon a unit of work in their drama lessons. Their piece was a wonderfully structured piece of theatre that played well with pace and volume to create an eerie and unsettling atmosphere, full of dark humour that left us feeling uncertain of the characters’ wellbeing at the end. ‘Row, row, your boat’, having played a large role in their performance, now seems an incredibly threatening song, despite its childish innocence – a great use of nursery rhyme. A fun tale with a dark twist.
Detention was written and directed by two year 11 students, Grace Bowden and Áine Craig, who developed this piece from a devised performance they had worked on at the end of year 10. A remarkably humorous piece which focused on six troubled teens who had been placed in detention with a questionable teacher and crazy school councillor who was ‘high on life’. Throughout the piece we learn about the students’ lives and the troubles they face at home and within friendship groups resulting in the group burning down the school, accidentally.
To finish the wonderful evening, four year 10 students presented The Killing of Sophie Lancaster by Simon Armitage, a poem that reflected the life and death of a young Manchester girl. They built a wonderfully warm atmosphere to begin their piece, sharing stories of their life growing up and feeling like an outsider but quickly changed their pace and tone when they reached the attack. The audience was captivated by their control and emotion, feeling deeply connected to the girls’ words.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening, one which many people have commended the students for playing such large roles in the creation of the pieces.
Paul Taylor, Headmaster stressed “I was particularly impressed by the remarkable work that the students put together and how great it was that the Junior Production this year was so heavily student led.”
- Before the Show Goes On – written by Tom Hampson, directed by George Hunt and Coral Langridge.
- A Birthday to Die For – devised by Xavier Bueno de Mesquita, Catherine Chapman, India De Labilliere, Olivia McDowell, Louis Sidebottom, and Ella Tacon
- Detention – written and directed by Grace Bowden and Áine Craig
- The Killing of Sophie Lancaster – by Simon Armitage, directed by Katie Crossley.