Two quintessentially British summer evenings were enjoyed by audiences who gathered to watch some of our talented drama and music students perform in our first ever Drama and Music Showcase held in the stunning surroundings of the Quarry Theatre gardens.
The rain managed to hold off on both nights, allowing the boys to perform extracts from famous plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blue Remembered Hills and Lord of the Flies on an outdoor stage. With music provided by our Jazz Band, and Pimms and lemonade served to the audience in their seats, it was a real treat for theatre lovers to sit back and enjoy a live performance with such a magical ambience.
Fifth Former Will Roberts provided impressive compèring, introducing the evening and chatting in between each item to ensure the audience was kept engaged and entertained throughout.
Head of Creative Arts, Antoinette Keylock, said, “I have really enjoyed bringing the drama and music departments together and I am very keen to have regular joint creative arts events in the future. It was a wonderful evening – the mixture of drama monologues, group pieces and musical interludes was delightful. The Quarry Garden setting is a unique space and I have never directed anything in the garden before, so it was great to see the pieces in a different venue.”
It is perhaps also rather fitting to know that Wednesday’s performance was actually the 1000th show in our Quarry Theatre since it opened in 2015!
The event was live streamed on YouTube for those unable to attend in person, and is still available to watch here. Alternatively, why not hear an account of the evening from the compère himself, Will Roberts!
“It was the first time this year the current Fourth Formers have been able to experience as close to a production as we can get in these times, and all of the Fourth Formers involved grabbed at that opportunity. Tanay Rai opened both nights with a light comedy monologue The Lost Crutch and on both occasions he aced his comedic timing and tone to set a real standard for the evening. This standard was then matched by the cast of Blue Remembered Hills, who threw themselves across the stage in what is a physically demanding, yet fun piece to perform. The boys encapsulated the idea of playing younger children and once again provided some comedic moments. The musicians across both nights were on point, from Hugo Hodgson and his flashy suit playing some lovely jazz pieces as people arrived, to the mellow sounds of Alfie Gandesha and Alex Olleson who sang note perfect performances of O Holy Night and Summertime respectively. The string quartet on Wednesday performed like clockwork with their two Baroque pieces and Michael Robertson also gave a lovely rendition of Consider Yourself from Oliver on the opening night. Will Hayward left the audience in stitches after his breath-taking performance of Jonesy, all about a boy with asthma attempting to play rugby in his GCSE PE. Once we had all caught our breaths (including Will) Elio Lepore from the Prep School put on his rendition of The Date. It was great to see such talent from an actor with so much time still ahead of him at the school. Joshua Cooke and Max Pearson also performed monologues and definitely showed their experience as they both enveloped themselves in their comedic characters. Max rounded off both nights with some of the biggest laughs of the night as he donned a rather flamboyant persona! Once Charlie Eggleton had made his fourth costume change of the night after a reading from the Demon Headmaster, he was quickly ushered on to deliver what was one of the highlights of both evenings: Lord of the Flies. A short scene delivered from the Golding classic was professionally delivered by the Fourth Form actors who, with only a few weeks to prepare, gave a topping performance. It’s so exciting to see such artistic talent beaming through the lower year groups in the school.”