Year 6 and 7 Drama classes’ Summer term project is to reinvent themselves as “Play in a Day” theatre companies, selecting a script (with a little help from Mrs U-W) which they feel will show off their skills and be an exciting challenge to bring from page to stage. The pupils work together to rehearse the piece, directing each other and evaluating strengths and areas for development in each other’s scenes, designing the staging and making any set and props they would like, selecting costume and make-up ideas, exploring possibilities for lighting, music and sound effects to enhance the performance and planning all scene transitions so that they are the stage crew as well as the actors. They’ve been busy! This is a fantastic project that goes beyond stagecraft and encourages problem solving, collaborative teamwork skills and an understanding of the many layers that go to make a successful piece of theatre. We were thrilled to welcome a packed audience to the Ashby Theatre on Friday 2nd June, and every pupil should be very proud of what they achieved, both onstage and behind the scenes.

6BS opened the evening with an energetic and highly creative performance of “The Perils of Pauline”, a modern melodrama by Charles Goddard & George Seitz, with lots of ensemble physical theatre and wonderful use of comic timing and exaggerated characterisation. 7HL then refocused the evening with an intense, muscular presentation of the opening act of Romeo and Juliet, using thumping dance tracks and dramatic lighting to amplify the tension and violence presiding over Verona. Delivery of the Shakespearian lines was superb and demonstrated a great deal of precise rehearsal work. 7MH finished the evening with a lively and inventive production of Alan Ackbourn’s “Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations” which was a great deal of fun, transitioning between scenes very smoothly and showing a fantastic sense of enthusiasm and showmanship amongst the cast.

A particularly impressive element was how well the pupils handled the hour or so before the final performances; a huge amount of initiative, support and independent responsibility was shown to ensure that the theatre looked smart, the tech box was ready, costume and make-up were as they should be and that all pupils were able to thoroughly enjoy the experience. Bravo!