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The Old Vic led the GCSE dramatists in a two-hour workshop

After ending last term on a high with a performance of Lord of the Flies, the Drama Department has had a busy start to the new year through their involvement with the Old Vic.

In the first week of term, Year 10 dramatists welcomed professionals from the Old Vic Theatre who led them in a two-hour workshop. During the workshop the pupils explored different ways of presenting theatre, such as with an audience in the round or on either side, as opposed to the traditional end-on setting. This links in with the Old Vic’s current production, A Christmas Carol which has a non-traditional staging.

A week after the two-hour workshop, the Old Vic invited the Year 10 group to the theatre to watch A Christmas Carol. The students enjoyed the performance immensely and spent the following lessons honing their analytical and evaluative skills by discussing the production.

Meanwhile the Drama Society, which is open to all Year groups as an after school club every Wednesday, have welcomed their own professional visitors. In the middle of January, Company 3, a youth theatre company who direct and produce plays with and for young people, led a workshop. In it they explored the differences between adult theatre and youth oriented theatre.

Winter Concert closes out term

January 7th, 2019

On the last Thursday of term, Music School brought the autumn term to a close with their annual Winter Concert.

10 music ensembles, comprised of 74 students in total, performed over the course of the evening, playing a wide variety of genres to an audience of over 150 people in The Great Hall. The Samba Band opened the show with their own improvised piece of music before the evening took a more classical turn as the Orchestra performed a duo of Russian compositions from Larianov and Tchaikovsky. More classical music was heard later in the show as the Strings Section played Chopin’s Etude in G.

The House Band brought the evening to life with their cover of the Rolling Stones’ rock ‘n’ roll hit Jumpin’ Jack Flash. The contemporary trend was continued by the Chamber Voices vocal group who sang Hall & Oates’ I Can’t Go For That and the Concert Band who performed a brass inspired version of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. Meanwhile the FretWrx guitar group played Vince Taylor’s Brand New Cadillac and the Choir sang James Taylor’s Lonesome Road.

The audience were treated to festive offerings throughout the evening. The Junior Vocal Group sang John Rutter’s Nativity Carol, a choral song about the nativity written in 2015 while the choir sang Gaudete, a sacred Christmas Carol written in the 16th century. The Concert Band closed the show with an uplifting jazz-medley of Christmas carols assembled by composer John Strommen under the title A Big Band Christmas.

The high quality of music throughout the evening was testament to the hard work and dedication shown all year by both the music teachers and the 100 strong pupils who arrive at school an hour early for music lessons every day of the week.

Lord of the Flies

January 7th, 2019

Deserted on an island, the boys use glasses to make a fire

During the final week of term, the Drama Society presented an adaptation of William Golding’s novel The Lord of the Flies.

The Drama Society worked on the piece throughout the autumn term with direction from Ms Russell, Head of Drama. The play saw the actors take on the roles of a group of schoolboys who crash land on a deserted island without any adults and try to establish their own society.

The play began with a mime-piece, conveying an aeroplane crash

The play was performed by 20 boys from Years 7 – 10. Four more boys contributed by directing the actors and producing the lighting and audio technical work. The piece was enjoyed by parents, students, staff and partners of the school. The production incorporated a number of dramatic devices that will be invaluable to the Year 10 students who are studying Drama at GCSE and have to perform as part of their exam. The play gave the younger pupils a chance to gain experience in public speaking and working together as a team.