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The Good Schools Guide Review of Beech House

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Lower and Middle School Pupils Perform Rats Tales

Monday, 15 December 2014

The first ever Lower and Middle School Joint Production took place at the end of this term over a run of three nights, and showed that the School’s younger pupils can give the more senior students a run for their money when it comes to putting on a show.

Boys and girls from Years 8 and 9 auditioned for roles in Carol Anne Duffy's Rats' Tales at the end of September and a cast of over thirty students rehearsed over a period of three months to put together a high-energy and accomplished piece of theatre. The show was a retelling of the traditional Brothers' Grimm fairy tales, pivoting around the central tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Pupils in the Boys’ Division Arts Council created a series of animations to accompany the performance. Their work was projected onto large screens behind the audience, who ringed the central stage, creating a highly immersive theatre environment. Art students also contributed to the set design and build, whilst members of the Sixth Form Charity Committee organised and sold refreshments. Boys from Theatre Tech Club were responsible for sound, lighting and special effects and did an impressive job of running these important elements each evening.

The production would not have been a success without help from a number of Boys’ Division members of staff. Drama Coordinator Miss Lord and Art teacher Miss McCann provided expert direction, while Miss Halliwell, Miss Harper, Miss Holroyd, Dr Lowton, Miss Tunstall, and Mr Wyatt supported the project in numerous other ways.

All of the elements came together a really innovative and entertaining production, which both actors and audience could enjoy.

Girls’ Division Headmistress Miss Sue Hincks said, “I thoroughly enjoyed Rats’ Tales. It was a very good choice of production, performed imaginatively and skilfully, and a huge credit to Miss Lord. I hope that we are able to repeat a Lower School production at this time of year again as it was extremely worthwhile.”

Head of the Boys’ Division, Philip Britton, was in complete agreement: “I much enjoyed Rats’ Tales. The set was great, with innovative use of projection screens to set the scene and tell the story. I also enjoyed the movement of the cast on stage – very impressive show – well done to all.”

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The cast of

The cast of 'Rats' Tales'

Dramatic lighting and colour contrasts helped to bring the different stories to life

Dramatic lighting and colour contrasts helped to bring the different stories to life

Pupils did an excellent job of portraying the various characters in the show, from townsfolk to rats

Pupils did an excellent job of portraying the various characters in the show, from townsfolk to rats