• Drama One
  • Drama Two
  • Drama Three

Performing Arts - Drama

Each year at the Academy the Drama Department produce several wonderful productions.

Previous reviews: 

Under Milk Wood 2nd–4th December 2014

Some sixty years ago, Dylan Thomas sat down to write a radio play about his homeland of Wales.  In the fictional fishing village of Llareggub, the audience is invited to listen to the dreams and innermost thoughts of its inhabitants and then as the town awakens we watch them go about their daily business, aware of what is in their hearts.  The Sir Robert Woodard Academy was given special permission to perform the play in this 100 anniversary year of Dylan Thomas’ birth.  Had we bitten off more than we could chew in bringing this epic poem to life?  Of course not! Ms Venn knew her actors and her production team, she knew their capacity to rise to a challenge. No one should be under any illusions, this was a challenge.  How could it possibly be achieved?  The answer lies in the utter professionalism and attention to detail of the SRWA Youth Theatre.  It starts with the beautiful poster designed for us by Kenads Printers; the tasty welsh morsels on offer as the audience stepped into the courtyard; the beguilingly hypnotic soundtrack specially composed by Auryn Jones; the deceptively simple period costumes; to the deeply impressive set that the audience stepped through transporting them to the cobbled streets and the fishermen’s cottages.  This was a performance of intelligence and wit, from the youngest Year 7s, barely three months into their life at the Academy, to the Year 13s with all of their guile and experience.  We saw a piece of theatre that set the bar even higher than it has ever been.

What next? Shakespeare? Watch this space!

 

Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - 1st–3rd July 2014

On a glorious summer’s evening, the audience sat down to be entranced.  Children and adults alike felt a thrill of delight as they stepped through the enormous book that dominated the stage in order to be seated, stepping through a doorway into the world of imagination of a child.  Alice, played beautifully by Ginny, struggles to make sense of a world in which the adults are all mad and she is the only sane one.  Perhaps this was the way that Lewis Carroll saw things in his day, it certainly seems to be as relevant today as young people struggle with the chaos of the world they are inheriting from us.

The Vice Chairman of West Sussex County Council, Mr Peters said as he was leaving: “The test of a great show is that you believe. I well and truly believed!” For this was a wonderful show – everyone we spoke to as they left said it was the best performance that they had seen here – and that is high praise indeed.  From the sumptuous costumes, to the spectacular set, the ingenious puppets, the music and of course, the acting, this was an experience in a month which has seen a feast of performances.  The students must be congratulated for their performances.  They were so disciplined and controlled in a play that brought very new demands to them. They played with typical energy and enthusiasm and their sense of satisfaction on the last night was palpable.  They were very proud of what they had achieved and as Mr Midwinter said “the future of our community is safe in their hands”.  The technical and design team were extraordinary.  The set was a feat of engineering as well as of creativity. The white rabbit, the Cheshire cat, Humpty Dumpty and the Jabberwock were masterpieces of puppetry that both fascinated and appalled.  The costumes would have graced the West End Stage and the lighting and sound had the professional hallmark that we have come to expect now from Mr Reynolds and his tireless team.

However, it was Ms Venn and her vision that made this happen.  She is indomitable, has endless energy and commitment, she is a creative dynamo, but above all she cares about the young people of our community, together, they are a formidable force. ‘Alice’ showed just what is possible when everyone shares the same dream – white rabbits or a different world – we can imagine a better place, together.

 

 

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