Students’ triumphant return to the stage
One of the many things to recommend education at boarding school in England is the sector’s provision for the Arts. As life in our British schools resembled something a bit more normal last term, it was great to receive some accounts of their return to live performance.
The December production is a musical tradition for Dauntsey’s and the school’s latest show was ‘Legally Blonde The Musical’, adapted from the hit 2001 comedy film. A cast of 130, including pupils from years 7 to 13, was supported by a large backstage crew and full orchestra, made up of both pupils and members of staff, who performed the light-hearted score with great skill and energy. The school’s hi-tech sound and light system, worthy of a West End theatre, created a fun and colourful setting for the musical, which received standing ovations from sell-out audiences across all four nights.
Felsted School’s production of ‘My Fair Lady’ delighted its audiences in five performances over four days. 46 actors were supported by three Assistant Directors, one Assistant Choreographer, seven stage crew, five musicians, nine hair and makeup artists, five lighting technicians, five sound technicians and four Marketing Associates. In a break with tradition, an outstanding female performer Helen M was cast as Professor Higgins, turning the Edwardian misogyny on its head, retaining the comedy, but making songs like ‘Hymn to him’ ironic. The show balanced entertainment with a more modern outlook, thanks to Helen’s exceptional talent in performing the role.
Giggleswick School’s first production of the year was ‘Much Ado about nothing’. Its cast of pupils from Years 9, 10 and 11 included several international students, who successfully interpreted Shakespeare’s famous characters. Obstinate Beatrice, spitting vitriol, while Hero skipped about in an intoxicated display of amorous bliss on her romantic journey with Claudio. Meanwhile, the musical underscoring created a latent air of romance, mocking the cruel teasing between Beatrice and Benedick. It was a delightful production which captured the confusing world of romantic relationships and gave all students, both on and off-stage, the chance to shine.
There are many opportunities for those interested in drama at all of these fabulous British boarding schools and many more like them. Please contact us for more information.