Page 34 - Independent Schools Magazine
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 Music, Drama, & Dance
 Curtain up on the Fringe (continued)
  The performance becomes a focal point in the daily routine and really requires the cast to pull together and breathe life into the show every day. Sustaining energy and focus over 6 performances is
a challenge. As the performers become more familiar with the play – they can easily leave the audience behind, so a daily review meeting encourages critical reflection and keeps ideas fresh. It’s important that the cast take ownership of the play and make every performance count – word of mouth matters at the Fringe!
What do they get out of it?
Performing at the Fringe is a memorable experience for any actor – to experience this aged 16 or 17 is incredible. Students value the opportunity performing
in a professional forum and accessing the range of theatre on offer. They learn so much from interacting with other companies and professionals. They all report enjoying the challenge of leafleting and seeing the impact of their efforts. Resilience, confidence
and communication skills quickly develop when faced with the competition of other companies! The experience of working together as a theatre company, taking shared responsibility for the success of
the show is invaluable. This is a real-life experience of team work as they take the production through from concept to performance. The creative skills gained through this process will support any future career path they choose. One student this year said, ‘The feel of being at the Fringe with so many other theatre groups, amateur and professional, was unforgettable and incredible.’
I definitely plan to return. In fact, I’m already selecting potential plays and have students wanting to sign up! It’s important for students to experience first-hand the strength of the arts in the UK and the essential role that creativity plays
in all aspects of our lives. Here theatre provides a platform for
the application of skills within a unique, unforgettable international experience that’s on our doorstep!
West Buckland School, Devon, was able to show off its full repertoire of musical talent during their performance of Mozart’s Requiem at Exeter Cathedral, in front of a packed audience.
Featuring choirs from both Prep and Senior schools, as well as a chorus of parents and staff, and with both Soprano and Bass soloists being former pupils, this really was a showcase for the school’s music. Not only that, but the choirs were accompanied by the very popular North Devon Sinfonia, which includes current and past pupils
as well as staff, including the Headmaster, Phillip Stapleton, on double bass.
West Buckland’s Director of Music, Emma Kent, was proud of their performance. “For a relatively small school we punch above our weight in music. Not only did we get a chance to show our audience what current pupils are able to achieve, but also, in our distinguished soloists, Ana Fernandez and Will Brockman, we can demonstrate that a bright career in music is achievable, with the right support and guidance at school.”
Music in cathedral
   Louise Fahey at rehearsal
Parents and friends of Polwhele House, Cornwall, were shouting, ‘he’s behind you!’ as they enjoyed the school’s end of year musical.
This year’s production, ‘Frankenstein the Pantomime’, marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel, but with a Polwhele House twist thrown into the mix.
Loosely based on the novel with
a few panto touches thrown in,
the musical extravaganza tells the classic story of Viktor Frankenstein while featuring a few familiar faces.
Keith Caddy, Head of English and Drama at Polwhele House, said: “The end of year production is easily the most anticipated event of the school year and always ensures that we finish the summer term on a high note, having showcased the talent, commitment and creativity of the children. It is great to witness the children embrace the opportunity to try something new and challenge themselves.”
The show featured hits such as ‘Night Fever’, ‘The Monster Mash’, ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘(I’m not even) Human’.
Monster production
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At the performance
Cast at the performance
Photography by Michael Fahey

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