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Drama & Theatre Studies Newsletter Articles

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  • A Magical Evening with Shakespeare’s 'The Tempest'

    Published 22/05/24

    Our school auditorium was filled with excitement and enchantment as our talented students from Year 7 to Year 9 took to the stage to perform William Shakespeare’s 'The Tempest'. This production captivated an audience of proud parents and eager primary school students, leaving everyone spellbound by the young actors' impressive skills and infectious enthusiasm.

    From the moment the curtain rose, our young performers brought Shakespeare’s characters to life with dance numbers from Usher and Bruno Mars to complement Shakespeare’s complex storyline.  The lighting and sound was operated and designed by talented Year 9 students: Jack Blowfield, Wyatt Knox- Newman, and Rowan Banks. Amelia Younis-Jordan created captivating projections to help transport us to the mystical island where magic and adventure await.

    Not only did the whole of Year 7 get the chance to see this show, but so did 3 primary schools. The cast rose to the challenge of adapting to their new surroundings. For many of the Year 4 to 6 pupils, it was their first encounter with Shakespeare, and the young cast made the 400-year-old text engaging and exciting. The primary students watched in awe, inspired by the performances of their older peers and perhaps imagining themselves on stage in the future at Bexley Grammar School.

    Backstage, the camaraderie and teamwork amongst the students were palpable. This production has not only honed their acting skills but also fostered friendships and a sense of community. They supported each other through every scene change led by a new team of stage managers: Kitt (Year 9), Anushka (Year 8), Naina (Year 8), Beth (Year 12) and Ify (Year 12), embodying the true spirit of collaboration. The illuminating make-up was designed by a team of Year 12: Elena, Ananya and Arienne, with the amazing costume led by Mrs Ellis' vision and implemented by Millie, Oliver and Louis. Not to forget the transfixing choreography in the opening sequence and the enchanting “Sweet Dreams” by Leandrah Fadiga and whipped into shape by Claudia Baker.

    Thank you to all who attended and supported “The Tempest” and especially to the talented cast who performed 6 shows in 2 days to a variety of different audiences- I am very proud.

    Miss Gabriel, Drama and Theatre Studies Department

    Student Testaments

    ‘I loved the experience!’

    I loved doing “The Tempest”! I loved the experience, like all the other school plays I have done. It is really fun when we go on tour and I enjoyed performing in front of the primary schools. I just loved going to rehearsals, costumes, lighting and the people in it!

    The Year 7 to 9 Shakespeare plays are amazing as only students from 7 to 9 can audition and so, in my opinion, you have a better chance of getting more lines and a bigger role than, let’s say, the school play. Overall, I really enjoyed it and recommend any Year 7s and 8s to audition next year!

    Grace Shaw, Year 8

    ‘On tour filled me with adrenaline’

    In all honesty, at the beginning, rehearsals felt somewhat like a chore. However, looking back now, I realise that missing out on this experience would have been a grave and utter mistake: I loved it; performing gave such an exhilarating thrill. I found myself buzzing with anticipation, eager to get on stage and leave all our hard work out there. Arriving at the primary schools and seeing the excitement of our audiences on tour filled me with adrenaline; for our evening show, the atmosphere was just electric with the lighting and set igniting the play to another level.

    These productions build a community amongst students across all year groups who have a common denominator: theatre. Tears were shed, joy was shared but above all, friendships were formed. 3 months ago, I would have never thought that something so different from what I'm used to would bring pure ecstasy.'

    P.S. Thank you, Miss, for not letting me quit the show :)

    Adebola Olateru, Year 9

    ‘I can’t wait to find out what play we will be doing next year

    Being part of the tempest was like being in a secret society. I loved performing at different primary schools and partying backstage after each success. I can’t wait to find out what play we will be doing next year and I know that I will do it next year and I encourage you to as well!

    Kendra Kukunda, Year 7

    ‘It feels like one big family, rehearsing twice a week’

    I loved performing in the Year 7-9 Shakespeare plays because the whole time you are working with people who are around the same age as you and have common interests. It feels like one big family, rehearsing twice a week, for up to two hours, and working up to your big performance day! Being 'Caliban' was the absolute best, as I got to portray the role of a sometimes drunk, funny and sometimes scared monster.

    Princess Regina Otto, Year 8

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  • Alice Christmas Production 2023

    Published 20/12/23

    School production; the reviews are in!

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  • Mermaid Production 2022

    Published 26/01/22

    Those fortunate enough to be in the audience will have seen the explosion of joy and energy from the young actors, all that had been pent-up in the last 2 years of cancelled school productions came to life. It was wonderful, but don't take my word for it, click on the link here to see Sophia Barry’s (Year 12's) wonderful video 'Behind the Sea-nes'.

    Mr Otley, Head of Drama

    To further evidence, here is what some of the cast had to say:

    Being a part of Mermaid was an exhilarating experience for me. It was great to see all the hard work that was put into the rehearsals reflected in the amazing performance and I enjoyed every second of it! 

    After not being able to perform plays properly for the past 2 years or so, it was brilliant to see everyone on stage together and sharing the same passion. The atmosphere was also great- we were like one big family.  Doing the play helped me to make friends with people from different year groups, people I probably wouldn't have talked to without having taken part in Mermaid.

    My part in the show was as a mermaid and after having performed, it is safe to say that I loved the role!  I loved doing the dances with all the other mermaids, dances that ranged from "happy and frolicky" to more creepy.  One of my favourite things that I did was drowning the prince- especially the lift (which sometimes went very wrong!).  The mermaids also got to wear handmade dresses and colourful makeup which I think made the role even more special.

    Mermaid was an unforgettable experience for me and I hope that I get to take part in another school play in the future!

    Zoe Allen, Year 9

    Taking part in ‘Mermaid’ has truly been a breath of fresh air! Since we haven’t performed in a while due to COVID, the spirits of this play were through the roof.  The energy on stage and backstage was something I had missed, and I know we all couldn’t wait to get back to.  I played many roles, a soldier, a lady in waiting, a protestor/ fan and a party goer! It was so much fun as I had the chance to experience many different atmospheres because Mermaid has a very interesting plot! Even switching between the costumes was fun. Doing the play was not only an amazing acting experience, it was also a time to socialise with other people with similar interests and make new friends! Overall, the “Mermaid” play was a pleasure to be included in, and I can’t wait to audition for the next play soon!

    Deya Dimitrova, Year 9

    Being part of Mermaid was such a great way to start Year 9! Since Year 7, I have taken part in all the plays I could, but due to lockdowns a lot of them weren’t possible to go ahead. I feel like this made Mermaid more special for every one of us. To feel the magic of the theatre, the chaos of backstage and just the general teamwork that goes into it. As a student at BGS who loves drama, I was so happy Mermaid was able to go ahead even if our T-shirts did say 2021… I had a very different experience in this drama performance because I wasn’t just acting, I was also dancing! Being a mermaid was so much fun- we even got to see our dresses being crafted. We had the opportunity to do so many new and different things, it was great to see the audience in awe, as we lifted the prince above our head.  Everyone in the audience left with a huge smile on their face and for me that’s the reason why performing is such a great thing, you are sharing your joy with everyone in the audience. If you are a student at BGS who doesn’t take part in the Drama plays, you should really consider it: you will make lifelong friends, gain so much confidence, and it is just so much fun!

    Matilda Jackson, Year 9

    When I first joined BGS in September I didn't imagine that, less than a month later, I would be cast in one of the lead roles for the school production of 'Mermaid'. I knew that it'd be a really great opportunity to start doing something extracurricular as theatre is something I'm really passionate about. It meant that I got to meet a bunch of amazing people in all the show’s departments (all the actors, tech team, stage managers and costume & makeup people were amazing)! 

    It was a really ambitious show, and I'll be honest, there were some scenes that, when we first started rehearsing them, I thought 'Mr Otley's mad if he thinks we'll be able to pull this off'. And yet, we did it, and it felt incredible! 

    I've been in a fair few plays in my life but, as a result of being able to play with the unexpectedly in-depth and intriguing role of the Prince and working alongside such talented people under Mr Otley's brilliant guidance, this has been one of the most enjoyable ones I've ever done.       

    Dylan Oates, Year 12

    Click here to view the Mermaid Production photo album. 




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