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.
We’ve had two excellent visiting Theatre Companies with us during the past two weeks, with Dogstar Theatre bringing the dark and compelling drama, ‘The Baroness’ and Catherine Wheels Theatre bringing the vibrant and energetic play, ‘Lifeboat’.
Both plays were performed just for our exam students and the Ogstoun Theatre was filled with our GCSE and A-level students, who proved to be receptive and well focused audiences.
It’s wonderful to have such high calible companies bringing their work to us and we’re really pleased to have been able to host them.
The set of Lifeboat in the Ogstoun Theatre
Our Year 13 students also had a real treat last week with a visit to Eden Court to see the NT Live production of Othello beamed live to the cinema screen from the National Theatre. This was an amazing production with outstanding central performances from Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear. It really got the Year 13 students thinking about the Shakespeare work they’ll be studying later in the term.
Next week the Year 12 Theatre Studies students will embark on their mini tour to the South East of England. We’ll be taking work to show in schools down there and taking the opportunity to see several West End theatre productions. Whilst we’re there we’ll blog regularly about our adventures!
Now that the results are all in for both A-level and GCSE, I think a post is in order to celebrate the achievements our drama students have made.
A huge well done to every single one of you in Year 11, 12 and 13. Whatever you have achieved we are very proud of you all.
An amazing 55% of our Year 13 students achieved A* or A grades at A level. A special well done goes to Jolley and Lutra for their A*’s.
In GCSE Drama this year an fabulous 52% of our Year 11 drama students achieved an A grade.
We are also pleased with the AS results. Although we don’t have official grades because most students are going on to study A2 this year, 71% of the Year 12’s achieved what would be an A or B grade if cashed in, with the other students close behind them. This means they’ll be very well set for doing extremely well at the end of Year 13.
Taking the results as a whole, it’s great to see so many students achieving their full potential and being rewarded for the fantastic work, both practical and written that was created last year.
We’ve got a very exciting term of live professional theatre ahead of us so I thought a little preview was in order…
On Thursday 19th September we’ll have Dogstar Theatre performing their production ‘The Baroness’ by Thor Bjorn Krebs here at the Ogstoun Theatre. It’s a brilliantly written play about an extraordinary friendship between the ageing writer of Out of Africa, (Karen Blixen’s pen-name was Isak Dinesen) and a young poet, Thorkild Bjornvig.
On the 26th September we’ll be travelling to Eden Court with our Year 13 students to see the National Theatre production of Othello broadcast live to the screen in the cinema. The production stars Olivier Award winning actors Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear as Othello and Iago and is directed by Nicholas Hytner.
Finally on 2nd October we have Catherine Wheels Theatre Company in the Ogstoun Theatre performing their production ‘Lifeboat’ written by Nicola McCartney and directed by Gill Robertson.
On Friday 13 September 1940, a ship, The City of Benares, set sail from Liverpool for Canada. On board were 90 evacuees escaping the relentless bombing and dangers of war torn Britain. Four days into the crossing, the ship was torpedoed and sank. Only eleven of the evacuees survived.
Two fifteen year old girls, Bess Walder and Beth Cummings, spent 19 terrifying hours in the water on an upturned lifeboat. They willed each other to survive. Lifeboat tells their story.
Well done to the Year 11 GCSE students who presented their exam work last week. We had a lovely evening on Wednesday, where the students were able to show the work to an audience of parents, guests and friends.
Even though the school was almost empty, with so many students on either study leave or exped, we still had a really nice audience at the Ogstoun theatre to show their support. The Year 11’s gave them a great show, demonstrating just how much they have developed and achieved over the two years of the course.
The shows were based on the stimulus ‘performance should make the audience watch and think’. This gave lots of scope for interesting ideas. Groups focused on a range of different subjects including the story of Guy Fawkes, the effects of mercury on hatmakers in Victorian Britain, Revenge, what happens to the surprisingly large number of people who simply disappear every year and how families cope with the pressures of looking after a child with a developmental disability.
The next morning, the examiner arrived bright and early and the students presented their exam work for the final time. We then enjoyed a lovely ice-cream brew, very kindly provided by Ms McCrum.
Well done to all of the Year 11 students, you showed the very best work we’ve seen you present and you should all be proud of what you’ve achieved.