Thursday, 15 December 2011

Ending 2011 on a high!

Last night was our last official concert of the year as our talented singers and musicians played to a packed out St Mary's Church. There was a delightful assortment of vocal arrangements including solos from Vicky Egerton and Rhianne Groom, a duet by Grace Bartlett and Ania Witka and of course, the Bradon Forest Choir. One of our peripatetic teachers, Miss Fleet, directed a number of arrangements, my favourite of which was Walking in the Air, with a number of singers and Hannah Sellars and Elliot Gunton on flute. Just lovely! Miss Fleet later commented: "Well done - the best by far of the concerts I have been to this year!"

Thank you, as always, to everyone who came and supported. The audience were even entertained by the vicar who treated us to a really jolly number about love at Christmas. We're hoping it will be a regular slot! We've had some wonderful comments including this one from a parent:

"The concert last night was super, we thoroughly enjoyed it, especially my father who is always very appreciative."

That's it from us this year but we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and warm wishes for 2012. We look forward to seeing you back in the theatre on January 26th for Waiting for Dave!

Friday, 9 December 2011

We Wish you a Merry Christmas!

With over 70 performers across the two nights, the 2011 Bradon Forest Christmas Music Concert was yet another success! I think I say this every time, but I love our concerts. We have such a wide range of performers, from the experienced GCSE Ensemble Group (pictured) and their own moving arrangement of 'Do They Know it's Christmas', to first time flute soloist, Charley Hill with 'The Holly and the Ivy'. What's especially lovely to watch is the support that the students provide each other. For example, on Wednesday, Alecia Kissell played a piano solo. I think she was a little nervous as a few mistakes were made and Alecia got a bit flustered. After stopping and starting she managed to finish 'The First Noel' to ruptious applause from the students. On Thursday evening, Alecia played it through perfectly and her friends cheered even louder!

With, as I said, over 70 performers, I can't mention them all, but every one of them did us proud. The choir seem to be going from strength to strength and their rendition of 'Infant Holy' gave me goose pimples! The KS4 Jazz Ensemble's performance of 'Santa Baby' was delightful and the Orchestra are flawless! Once again, the Staff Hand Chime Group managed to ding and dong our way through two numbers, including one of my favourites, Jingle Bell Rock. Thank you to everyone for their patience... we are getting better! Mr Duncan's Ukulele Group entertained us with two numbers. 'The Cave' by Mumford and Sons, and 'Christmas Time' by The Darkness. I think I will have to try and get a clip of the latter up as they pulled out all the stops, including some very amusing solos and vocals by Mr Widdop. The group have now expanded with 5 students, Mr Duncan and now also Mr Butler and Mr Widdop. The Maths department are obviously trying to boost their kudos and know that music's where it's at...

There was a lovely warm buzz in the theatre last night and everyone was congratulating the performers as they left. I was having a chat with one of the parents and she said to me that as she was sat there enjoying every single performance, she couldn't help but think, "I wish I'd gone to a school like this." That's something we should be proud of and we will continue to support and encourage new artists, actors, musicians and singers to get on stage and show off their talents! A special thank you to Miss Groom and Miss Hedges for hosting yet another jam packed, encouraging and entertaining concert. Roll on the next one!

"Hearty congratulations on last night. Best concert I’ve been to in ages. Really entertaining." Miss Maunder

Don't miss the Christmas Carol Concert, next Wednesday 14th December in St Mary's Church Purton. It starts at 7pm and parking is limited, so get there early and wrap up warm!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

5 Star Review!

Well that's it! It's all over! The run of A Midsummer Night's Dream has come to an end, but what a run it was. The final show on Friday was a sell out and the audience had been superb all week. Thank you to everyone who came and supported.

'Midsummer' is one of the better known Shakespeare plays, but even so (as you can imagine) it can be quite hard to follow the original language. However, our talented cast delivered their lines with conviction and understanding, so that even if our younger audience members couldn't follow the text, it was very clear how the story was progressing.

The set was beautifully created with several large fairy-light wrapped branches lining the back of the stage, with various lighting stages to represent the different times in the forest. When the front curtain was first pulled back to reveal the trees, there was an audible gasp! Rather than the traditional one Puck character, we had a 'clan' of five Pucks who all spoke in unison. With choreography by Hannah Guy, and a lot of input from the Pucks, the physicality of their movement was especially enchanting and mystical. Titania and Oberon, played by Ailsa Calder and Justin-David Machado, were a particularly dominiating presence on stage, commanding all the fairies with convincing supernatural authority.

Most of the laughs came from the 'play within a play', where the group of workmen, led by Quince (played outstandingly by Rae Elias), perform the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. Bradley Williams as Francis Flute and Oliver Webb as Nick Bottom were full of energy and the whole -mini-cast were on top form, even at the end of a two hour play!

Congratulations to the entire cast. This really was a top Bradon Forest Theatre production, though I'm sure that Mr Calder is already working on how to try and beat it for next year!

"Thank you and your excellent cast so much for a fabulous night on Friday. The show was fantastic – what amazing talent we have here at Bradon Forest! Can’t wait for the next one!!"
Miss Mainstone