Debating, arts festivals and drama workshops
The past couple of weeks have been very busy for the English and Drama Department, with a host of workshops, performances and debating competitions taking place.
On Wednesday 26 November, the whole of the Year 7 student cohort took part in a celebration of their achievements so far at the Upper in art, drama, English and music. The event this year had a First World War theme in honour of the centenary commemorations. In front of a large audience of parents and friends, each Year Seven class took it in turns to present plays, songs and sketches based on this theme. Art work inspired by the commemorative poppy symbol was also on display for all to admire and seasonal refreshments were enjoyed by all. This was an enjoyable and impressive event – and congratulations are due to the students for their excellent performances and to staff from the art, music and English/drama departments for their guidance and direction.
At the end of November, members of one of the Year 9 drama set were fortunate enough to gain an insight into the running of a major local theatre when practitioners from the Education department at the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds came to The Perse to run a workshop for them. The theatre is in the process of creating an online education resource in the form of six short documentary films which will give a brief overview of the complex production process involved in staging a play professionally. Our visitors from Bury led the Year 9 students through a process examining the different production stages for a show and – in a two-way process – they were also keen to hear the views of Perse students about what should be included in the documentary films.
Perse students have also recently taken part in two major national debating events. The annual Rotary ‘Youth Speaks’ competition is hosted by The Perse and sees schools from across the region descending on the lecture theatre to address a distinguished audience on a topic of current interest. Sixth formers Tom Harwood, Greg Stewart and Ryan Stonebridge represented The Perse and gave an excellent presentation about the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. In the separate English-Speaking Union ‘Mace’ national debating competition, Greg Stewart and Ryan Stonebridge formed the Perse team in an event held at Hills Road Sixth Form College. They spoke eloquently about the issue of proportionate fines for criminal acts and – as a result – won the competition at this stage. Greg and Ryan will now go on to represent the School in the national stage of the competition in February.
Members of the Middle School Drama Company (under the direction of Mr Carl Cerny) were led in a drama workshop in the loft by a member of the celebrated Complicite devising theatre group. The Company used the workshop as an opportunity to kick start rehearsals for their exciting project next term: a site-specific devised play based on the Alice stories of Lewis Carroll to be staged across the South Building in a number of locations.
Our students are looking forward to seeing what activities the new year holds!