The talents of forty young drama enthusiasts in the 8s and 9s were revealed in a special ‘studio’ showcase staged in the school auditorium this month.
The performance, directed and produced by Head of Drama Mr Michael Glen, Prep Drama teacher Ms Ibbett and Drama Assistant Ms Mathias, consisted of a collection of scenes drawn from six popular children's stories ranging from Greek mythology with Hercules to CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
I felt a real responsibility to the rest of the cast, the teachers and audience to get my part right, because it was a smaller production and so I was very visible in it!
As one of six productions, it has been an incredibly busy and productive year for our Drama department. These new, smaller-scale 'showcases' are part of an initiative intended to appeal to pupils who haven’t yet had much experience of performing. ‘We asked our drama classes who might be interested in getting involved rather than holding auditions for the showcase,’ explains Ms Ibbett. ‘The cast was part experienced Harrodian performers and part newcomers, but all of them full of enthusiasm. It has been great to cast the net wider this year by offering Harrodians even more drama opportunities than normal with these showcases.'
Grace (8s/Year 4) who played Wendy in Peter Pan was new to Harrodian at the beginning of the year. She relished the chance to get involved in the showcase and to make friends both within her year group and those in the year above (9s/Year 5). 'I love drama but as I was new to the school in September, I didn't feel ready to get involved in the Snow Queen earlier on in the year. I really enjoyed taking part in this showcase though and performing. Being in the auditorium felt a bit less scary, so I didn't suffer from nerves at all!" she explains.
It has been great to cast the net wider this year by offering Harrodians even more drama opportunities than normal with these showcases.
Ms Ibbett, Prep Drama teacher
Meanwhile Daisy from the 9s (Year 5), who performed two different roles in The Little Princess and The Witches, was grateful for the opportunity to improve her acting skills. With more lines and a bigger part compared to her role in November's Snow Queen production, she really enjoyed the challenge. 'I felt a real responsibility to the rest of the cast, the teachers and audience to get my part right, because it was a smaller production and so I was very visible in it! I really loved performing in it and the round of applause we got at the end was just brilliant!' she enthuses.
Being in the auditorium felt a bit less scary, so I didn't suffer from nerves at all!
The format has been so successful that more showcases are planned for next year, alongside an all-singing and all-dancing musical production of Grease in February. It looks like it will be another very busy year for the Harrodian Drama department!
For a gallery of photos, taken by Ms Daisy Mackay