This year’s boys’ GCSE devised pieces were performed to a small audience in our Quarry Theatre on Friday 15 March. The boys’ stimuli were a picture of the ‘big brother eye’, an extract from Orwell’s 1984 and an extract from Berkoff’s ‘The Trial’, which they have been working on since November during lesson time. Additionally, the boys attended a workshop with physical theatre company Frantic Assembly a few months ago, to introduce them to some new techniques including physical theatre training which also helped them in their preparations.

The exam pieces were worth 10% of their final GCSE mark and Head of Academic Drama, Mrs Antoinette Keylock, who was very pleased with the overall quality of the work, told us, “What a pleasure it was to watch our GCSE drama students perform their practical exam pieces after all the hard work they have put in. I was so impressed by their talent, confidence and resilience and I hope this is reflected in their marks.”

The boys’ performances were open to the public, which meant their family and friends were able to come along and watch – a method which the school has adopted for a few years as the boys tend to perform much better in front of a live audience.

One member of the audience was Rachel Osborne who told us, “It was an honour to be part of the audience at last week’s Remove Form GCSE devised performances. All four groups demonstrated immense talent and professionalism and it was clear that many hours of hard work had gone into making the evening the success that it was. All groups embraced the ideas of Total Theatre. The performances were choreographed to include repetitive movements and language, which set an almost hypnotic mood and I thought the use of strobe lighting, to portray physical pain, was very effective. With a very minimal stage and only a handful of props, the actors had the audience gripped. They should all be extremely proud of their performances and I wish them all well with the rest of their GCSE Drama course.”

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