Rehearsal for our production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is in full swing with the screams of battle echoing around Ogstoun on a regular basis as the cast practice their swordplay… Here’s a sneak peak at a part of the 7 foot tall Aslan puppet being built in one of our classrooms by Mr Parker and his occasional group of helpers. The puppet still needs his hessian skin and fur adding but he’s certainly starting to look rather exciting. I might add some pictures of his enormous body (currently hanging from the ceiling of one of our classrooms in Ogstoun!) to the blog at a later date.
The show takes place on 4th, 5th and 6th December.
We’ve had two great touring shows brought to the Ogstoun Theatre by professional theatre companies this term. The first was Robin Hood brought to us by Visible Fictions. This highly energetic show which was both funny and moving gave the students a chance to see the kind of high energy and yet thought provoking theatre can be toured with a small cast and a simple but effective set. The play was wonderfully performed and our students no doubt left the theatre with loads of new ideas for their own work..
The second touring show was One Giant Leap by Wee Stories. This one man show was a mix of engaging theatrical performance and science lecture. One Giant Leap taught us all kinds of new facts about the universe and man’s ever developing understanding of it and showed how a one man show with a set that fits in the back of a transit van can still be thrilling, fascinating and full of clever technical effects. The high production values and brilliant delivery really captured our imagination.
Both shows were greatly enjoyed by their audiences of A-level and GCSE Drama students and and pupils from Aberlour House.
Just before half-term we took our Year 12 AS Theatre Studies students away for our annual tour to London. We visited Aldro School where our students showed a production of Robin Hood that they had created especially for the occasion. Then the Aldro School pupils enjoyed taking part in a workshop given by Gordonstoun staff and students. A huge thanks to everyone at Aldro for hosting us, it was a lovely way to start the trip.
Of course whilst we were in London we took the chance to see as much live theatre as we could fit in. Seeing ‘The Woman in Black’ is always a part of this trip and greatly enjoyed by everyone (although a few students spent some of the time cowering under their coats in fear!). We also saw ‘Matilda’ and The National Theatre’s stage version of ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
As well as goinig to the theatre to watch shows, we also took a guided tour of The Globe Theatre and then walked all the way across London to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the Theatre Exhibition… with a walk of nearly six miles we took in the London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, Hyde Park, Green Park, the Wellington Memorial, Buckingham Palace and The Mall… some described it as the only Exped ever done in the centre of London!
Another highlight was going to the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios to see the sets, props and costume used in the films. It was fascinating to see the detail and effort that went into creating the magical world of Hogwarts!
It was a great trip and everyone gained a great deal of experience, whether by taking part in performance, seeing live theatre or just by learning and understanding new and useful things for their A-level course.
At the beginning of the Summer Term I was asked to put together a presentation for an extremely important guest as The Duke of Edinburgh made a private visit Gordonstoun. Writing a piece about the Duke’s time at the school was a wonderful and fascinating project and reminded me of the incredible history that Gordonstoun has developed in a relatively short time! The school has changed in many ways since the 1930’s, but we’re still proud to hold our Founder’s vision in the highest esteem. Working with our students to create this piece in such a very short time, reminded me that our motto Plus Est En Vous becomes more relevant, the more stressful the situation! A MASSIVE well done to all of the students from Gordonstoun and from the Junior School who worked so hard with the readings and with the final image that was built up so beautifully to represent the incredibly broad curriculum we offer here at school.
During the summer Gordonstoun took two shows to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe… ‘Avenue Q’ Directed by Mrs Parker with Musical Direction by Mr Burbury and ‘The Cagebirds’ Directed by Mr Parker. Both shows were performed at Cvenues and did brilliantly, with great audiences and great reviews.
The students had a fantastic time at the Fringe and took the opportunity to see a huge number of shows whilst they were there, making friends with loads of other performers and inviting people along to see their own productions.
Everyone enjoyed marching along the Royal Mile promoting the productions and performing extracts of their shows in the street to successfully promote ticket sales.
A brilliant and hugely valuable experience for everyone who was a part of it. Massive thanks go to all the staff who helped to make it all happen and well done to the performers who showed Gordonstoun to be a centre for performing excellence once again!
Way back at the end of the Summer Term, an intrepid group of (just finishing) Year 11 students took on the task of presenting a half hour version of The Tempest. This was a brand new short adaptation of the play created by the Director of Drama. The students had only three and a half days to bring the entire show together! Accompanied by the amazing sounds of Mr P’s ‘piano harp’ they performed in the open air on the grass outside Ogstoun to a lovely audience who sat in the summer sun and enjoyed the show on the last evening of term.
As soon as the term was over, the cast, along with the drama staff all jumped on a plane and took the show down to London to perform at St Katherine Docks as part of the school’s 80th Birthday celebration.
The weather was amazing and the students were fortunate enough to meet Princess Anne and give three performances of the show to differnet audiences on a large pontoon, rather appropriately situated in the centre of the docks, with Ocean Spirit of Moray moored beside us.
Lots of OG’s came and saw the show and it was lovely to catch up with them and learn about the exciting things they’re all up to now. What a great way to start the holiday, and a great experience for all involved.