Thursday, 31 March 2011

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu!

Last night was great! I do love our music concerts. It's so lovely to see such a wide variety of students up on stage, singing and playing with such talent and confidence!

Miss Groom and Miss Hedges organised a great running order for the night and we were treated to the usual high standard of performance from both Key Stage 3 and 4 concert bands and choirs.

The evening was an opportunity for our Year 11's to say their musical goodbye as they performed for us one last time. They wowed us with a variety of solo and group performances of traditional, modern and self composed pieces.

The concert was also the début performance for Mr Duncan's Ukulele Orchestra, who played a 'mash-up' of Jason Mraz and Train! There was talk of a collaboration with the staff hand-chime group for the Summer concert... but you'll have to watch this space.

"I must say it was an absolutely fabulous concert! Mrs Hayden and I thoroughly enjoyed it. What a talented bunch! We especially enjoyed Jack Deeley, the compère for the night. A star for the future we think! Special mention for Jess Rew. What a beautiful voice." Miss Mainstone.
It's really great to see the ownership of the concert in the students' hands. Miss Groom and Miss Hedges seem to have the perfect amount of direction and management, whilst still allowing the students to take the lead and control aspects of their own performance. It generates a really exciting and 'raw' energy for the evening and I'm already looking forward to the Summer concert! Make sure you have 22nd June in your diaries and get your tickets early. This one was a sell-out!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Humpty Review

The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty
We had such lovely comments in from staff and students alike, it seemed a shame not to include them in the regular review. It speaks volumes! Congratulations to the cast and crew alike. You should be proud.

"The students performance reflected the dedication of Miss Parsloe in producing and performing such a high quality piece. I really enjoyed it!" Miss Moore

"Amazing depth to the story line. I have to say its so interesting as I have always watched the drama from the students character perspective i.e. Terry Dumpton, but now I'm getting older I was really flabbergasted by Charlotte Fisher's performance - she conveyed the pressures of being a working mum and worrying about your kids fantastically! She got the frustration across really well. Lewis was excellent as Terry. I'm glad he is the fantastic students he is, as I would have believed he was that "teenager" that he portrayed! It was great to see Sophie performing and singing. I wish I had her courage to do that. People automatically think if you can stand up and talk professionally in front of an audience you can do things like drama - but I couldn't do that! The tension created by the gang was also definitely in the air. It got the point where Charles reminded me of the really good evil characters in CSI NY (sorry only one of those that I watch!) His smirking evil stare whilst the music was going and being questioned by the police reminded me of that and I think that's a tall order to achieve." Miss Mazelin 

"The performance was amazing and I wouldn't have missed it! I called out to Lewis before the start of the performance worried (as his tutor) that he looked petrified! Only to discover that's what he was supposed to look like that and I could stop worrying for him! Charlie....OMG! If I ever catch him acting like that around school he is in trouble. That was incredible! Ross was convincing in his termoil, he really shines within his drama. I could comment similarly on all the other performers I saw. I have used the programme from last night to get my tutees autographs. I thoroughly enjoyed my night!"
Miss Marshall

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Angus and Stewart on stage together!

In case you didn't catch it last year, Publick Transport are doing a warm-up gig of 'The Department of Smelling Pistakes' before going on a 3-week tour, with another favourite of ours, Stewart Wright, replacing Toby Davies in the role of Ivan.

Tickets are £7 (£5 conc), available in advance from, tel: 0117 929 9008); or at the Here Shop at 108 Stokes Croft (Tel: 0117 942 2222); or you can try your luck on the door and avoid the booking fee.

23 March · 20:00 - 21:00

The Cube Multiplex
Dove Street South

Set i
n a Tatiesque-cum-Orwellian world of tannoy broadcasts, random directives, microdots and listening devices, 'The Department of Smelling Pistakes' is a delightfully daft piece of slapstick comedy about a Soviet civil servant's attempt to hold onto his job even though he can't remember what it is, while an Inspector threatens to wrestle if from him by putting him through a series of bizarre tests. An hilarious satire on mind-numbing bureaucracy and Party paranoia, with spadefuls of surreal comedy and wordfoolery.

"A thing of sublime comic beauty."
Venue Magazine

"Absurd genius. . .a delightful mix of the bizarre and the brilliant."

"Sheer lunacy. . . It should be compulsory viewing for anyone aspiring to work in local government."
Bristol Evening Post

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty...

... opens tonight! There are still a few tickets left for this evening's performance and for tomorrow night.

Terry Dumpton is a popular, confident 14 year old... that is until he moves school. His new classmates single him out as a fresh target for their bullying, calling him names like ‘Humpty Dumpty’ and making vicious threats for his lunch money.

Terry is tormented to the end.

His ‘terrible fate’ causes a split amongst the bullies, hounded by fear, pity, guilt and deceit, prompting them to ask questions about morality, prejudices and community spirit.

A different one on each night, a small group of our students will also preview their ‘work in progress’ in preparation for their practical exam. This is a valuable part of the devising process. The following pieces will be performed before ‘The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty' on each night:

Wednesday 16th
The piece has been devised from ‘A Christmas Carol’ and is about a woman who looks back on her life, guided by the spirits from her past.

Thursday 17th
Devised from ‘Of Mice and Men’, a man tries to find his happiness. Does he succeed?

Circomedia Easter Kids Workshops

News from Circomedia: Acrobatics, juggling, trapeze, tight rope walking (to name just a few!) Circus skills training offers a unique range of physical and creative challenges. Our youth programme introduces students to an exciting array of activities and the opportunity to build self esteem and discipline.

The classes create a fun and active environment, which encourage taking responsibility for your own safety and setting your own target for improvement.  While the activities are exhilarating, the training also demands a high level of skill and discipline. It’s a non competitive medium, but very apt in demonstrating what great results students can achieve through personal application.

Easter Workshops:
  • Primary (6 – 11yrs) dates, Mon - Tues 11th & 12th April.
  • Secondary (12 – 18yrs) dates are Mon - Tues 18th & 19th April.
  • 9.30am - 3.30pm. The cost of this two day intensive will be £70, or £60 conc.
Summer Schools:
  • Primary (6 – 11yrs) dates, 1st August - 4th, 10am - 4pm. Cost £140 or £120 concession.
  • International Summer school (Secondary, 12 – 18rys), 8th - 12th August
  • 10am - 4pm, £175 full price or £150 concession (or for a second child).
To book visit the Circomedia website  or call 01179247615

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Very Good Times

Well I can thoroughly say that the entire audience loved last nights performance of Very Hard Times by Publick Transport. Having met Angus Barr (PT's Artistic Director) through performances with Gonzo Moose, we immediately booked their first show, 20,000 Leagues Under the Office, and haven't looked back. This show was the best yet.

It started with Angus coming on to introduce himself as the director and lead actor, explaining that he found Dicken's original 'Hard Times' in a library. After being turned down by larger theatres he has decided to tour the show himself with minimal set, rehearsal time and casting. Angus then asked the audience to bear with them as they were still ironing out some creases... Then, with more current government issue references than an episode of 'Have I Got News For You', the three try to tell the original story of a down and out couple struggling to survive.

Performing as his alter-ego, Angus was constantly directing and correcting Wayne and Philippa throughout the show and being a right snobby pain in the bottom. I quite liked this version of Angus, but finally Philippa, who played Chloemiddia, snapped and more drama ensued to hilarious climax. 

When I first had an idea of where they were going with the 'performance within a play', I immediately thought of the Farndale series... which have always been a favourite with our student performers. However, Publick Transport managed to perfectly execute the comedy so that it wasn't cheesy or over-done. Their application of melodramatic techniques was not only very funny, but will be a great point of reference for our students in the future. 

My favourite part was when Philppa flipped out and Angus tried to carry on the show over her rant. He kept running around and speaking all of the lines for her and Wayne as the latter looked on helplessly. Either that or when he was playing chess with himself... imagining that there was another 'him' on the other side of the table. But only because I do that sometimes.

If you run a venue then I urge you to book these guys. If you're a theatre-goer then I urge you to go and see this show, any show by Publick Transport. Keep up to date with them by their website and Facebook