Page 23 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 23

Much Ado launches a dramatic week
Talented teenagers from two Oxfordshire schools - Abingdon and St Helen & St Katharine - launched a dramatic week with
a contemporary performance of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The refreshingly modern take on Shakespeare’s comedy, featured everything from dance and live music to motorised grannies.
21 students from the two schools performed to sell out audiences over the three nights, garnering huge applause and raucous laughter.
The impressive production of Much Ado was a hard act to follow but the young thespians rose to the challenge, delivering a stunning three-night run, less than a week
later, of Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s London Road. The play premiered at the National Theatre in 2011 enjoying two extended runs and was immediately hailed as a modern classic.
Speaking about the productions, Jeremy Taylor, Director of Drama at Abingdon School and Jo Watt, Head of Drama at St Helen’s said, “We are immensely fortunate to be able to work together with such talented and committed young people
from the two schools. Tackling Shakespeare and modern classics is both demanding and thrilling, so it has been a joy to work with them on these productions.”
Stunning performances of Amadeus
Students at St Benedict’s School, London combined their dramatic
and musical talents in a production of Amadeus. Peter Shaffer’s play centres on Antonio Salieri, the established composer in the court of the Austrian Emperor Josef II, and his encounter with the greatest musical genius of all time – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The entire cast worked well as an ensemble, combining dramatic intensity with comedy. There were also live performances of Mozart’s choral and instrumental works, as Salieri agonised over Mozart’s perfect music.
Head of Drama Katie Ravenscroft said: “I am immensely proud of
all the students. Amadeus is a challenging piece and we have been rehearsing hard to capture the beauty of the play. The cast worked seemingly effortlessly to pull off a compelling performance in every respect. The performances from each of our leads were really quite remarkable and re ect the wealth of acting talent that we have at St Benedict’s. It has been an enormous privilege to work with them all.”
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‘Oliver’ audience wanted more!
Kingswood House School, Surrey, Senior Drama group performed ‘Oliver’ to full houses at a local theatre.
Outstanding singing, with solos from many boys, plus well known favourites, sung with huge enthusiasm, left the audience wanting more.
As the Producer, Mrs Phillipa Watkins, highlighted in her programme notes Kingswood House has a link to the  lm Oliver as Harry Secombe, who played Mr Bumble, sent his son to Kingswood House. She also commented ‘The cast worked for three days at the theatre prior to opening night which proved very fruitful with the cast and crew working as a team, which is what drama is all about’.
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