Founders’ Commemoration Day 2019 | Redmaids' High School
Blog post by the Head of Senior School Drama, Ms Sarah McCormack
The Arts and Entertainment industries have struggled during lockdown - although our ‘locked-down’ students did their best to keep a variety of flames alive with regular support of the ‘National Theatre At Home’ screenings, as well as a whole range of exciting home-grown activities.
On our return to school in the Summer Term we dived straight into as much theatre as we could with our own performance, in the school grounds, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a beautiful Sixth Form-led version of Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves which we showcased again last month at the Theatre-on-the-Downs.
But the professional theatres are open again now and we have wasted no time! Next week, every year group has the chance to see at least one theatre production and between us we will see six shows - in school, in town and in London.
Years 6 to 9 will see a visiting company from The Egg Theatre in Bath in school on Wednesday. They are performing their show, Josephine which is based on the life of the extraordinary Josephine Baker. A woman of colour - her grandparents were slaves and she was born into poverty in Missouri in the first decade of the 20th century. By the time she was 20 she was an international superstar - the highest paid and best-known entertainer at that time. Hers is an extraordinary story and we are delighted to welcome the Egg company into school to share it with us in Black History Month.
And that’s not the only celebrating Year 9 will be doing that week. On Tuesday, they are going to the Hippodrome to see the touring production of Everybody’s Taking About Jamie - the incredible story of the Sheffield schoolboy who wanted to be a Drag Queen. Our week of Drama festivities will embrace this new classic alongside new versions of old classics - with Years 10 and 11 off to the Old Vic to see Emma Rice’s ‘Wise Children’ take on Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. And we will end the week with an absolute smorgasbord of theatre for the Sixth Form - travelling up to London on Friday afternoon and taking in three shows in two days: Ovid’s Metamorphoses at the Sam Wanamaker playhouse and Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as Suzan Lori Park’s new play, White Noise at The Bridge theatre.
There is literally something for everybody there.
Meanwhile rehearsals for our school production of My Fair Lady are coming along and we have more trips lined up for next term.
Theatre is important. It’s how we tell our own stories back to ourselves - and we all so are hungry for stories, and songs, and sights and excitement, adventure and entertainment. We are so happy to be doing all of this again!