SPRING TERM DRAMA PRODUCTIONS
This term, parents, friends, pupils and staff have been treated to two outstanding drama productions from the three lower year groups.
THE ARTHURIAN CONNECTION
Year 6 rose to the challenge of realising Simon Hampton’s sophisticated, thoughtful script, with an impressive performance of ‘The Arthurian Connection’, an exploration of the themes of good and evil inspired by legends of the Knights of the Round Table. Through their encounter in the present day with Merlin, Ann and her companions travel with him back to Camelot and the age of chivalry, and then forward to the dystopian horror of the Black Ward, a planet ruled by the cruel despot Scouad. Witnessing the contrasts between the two worlds, and the terrifying final confrontation between Merlin and his evil counterpart Vilius, Ann’s eyes and heart are opened and, in the poignant closing scene, she parts from Merlin knowing she has found her ‘Arthurian connection’.
Terrific effort from the whole year group, with strong individual performances from several cast members, and some committed singing of the evocative musical numbers, held the audience’s attention throughout. Mr Fowlds’ dramatic incidental music, expertly played by a small group of musicians, complemented the action perfectly. There was much to admire visually too, the set featuring a stunning replica of Merlin’s oak tree and further enhanced by the back-drop of Duncan Davis’s wonderful photographs. Dramatic lighting and first-rate costumes and make-up topped off a truly excellent all-round collaboration. Well done, Simon Hampton – one of your best!
CLOUD TEA MONKEYS
Two weeks after half term, it was the the turn of Years 4 and 5 to present their joint interpretation of the Mal Peet/Elspeth Graham book ‘Cloud Tea Monkeys’.
Little Tashi lives with her mother in a tea-growing district of the Himalayas. While the women pick the tea under the eye of the unpleasant Overseer, Tashi plays with her friends the monkeys. But one day, Tashi faces a crisis which she can only resolve thanks to the help of the monkeys, and the discernment of the Royal Tea Taster.
Becky Hadfield, Penny Kay and Kate Martin skilfully and patiently guided the children through the process of crafting their own play from this delightful story. Involved in nearly every aspect of the production, from writing the script, creating the artwork for the projections to designing the programme, they even found time to learn a great deal about tea along the way!
Meanwhile, the superb costumes were being fashioned by the clever fingers of Maria Rogers and Leonie Serbrock, six contrasting songs, some with an Eastern flavour, were being prepared, and plans drawn up for the set, props, lighting and make-up.
The result was a triumph – beautifully paced, affectionate and utterly charming. Who could resist the adorable Year 4 monkeys, with their masks and ‘swishy’ tales! These children demonstrated improvisation skills and a stage awareness that belied their years. The older children, playing the human beings with clarity and confidence, had obviously been encouraged to think deeply about the characters they portrayed and how they could bring them to life on the stage.
Everyone brought their absolute best to the final performance, and the warm applause from the audience showed how much their efforts had been appreciated.
For more photos of these 2 spectacular performances click here
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