King James' School

Autumn Term in the Drama Department

Autumn Term in the Drama Department


House Drama - November 2015

This year’s House Drama Competition was a resounding success with some of the best House entries in recent years. The performances were highly anticipated and sold out as expected. The audiences were treated to a lavish helping of talent from all four Houses. This year’s productions were The Rear Window, Hansel and Gretel, Lord of the Flies and this year’s winners, ‘Billy Elliot’ by Airedale. Mr Haughton would like to congratulate all students involved for their professional approach to the work. He commented that the students were, “a credit to the department and the school.” He went on to say, “this year’s judges had a very tough time choosing the winners!” The prizes were awarded in the following areas. Best Rehearsal (Swaledale), Best Actor (Tom Jackson), Best Actress (Rhianna Barker) and Best Production (Airedale). Congratulations!

House Drama Review 2015

House Drama is an honoured tradition at King James’s and it never fails to amaze the audiences with what the students are capable of creating within such a short space of time. This year there was a whole range of different productions that were chosen and directed by sixth formers.

Wharfedale kicked off the night with their version of, the beloved children’s story, ‘Hansel and Gretel’. The performance highly entertained the audience through its well-choreographed chorus scenes as well as the comedy that was scattered throughout. Therefore, it’s needless to say the actors that performed in it are extremely talented to have brought that together within just a few weeks.

Next to shine was Airedale who created a hilariously uplifting rendition of ‘Billy Elliot’ that both moved and engaged the audience. At various times, the performance was quite challenging and displayed a lot of emotion which really allowed the audience to sympathise with the characters and get into it. Overall, it was an outstandingly well directed and exciting piece that thrilled all those who had the pleasure of watching it.

After the brief interval, Nidderdale had their chance to showcase their talents with their interpretation of the intriguing ‘Lord of the Flies’. It wasn’t long before the audience was fully captivated in this world of children creating all the rules and fending for themselves in the wild. The piece showed very good use of unison in chorus scenes which must have taken a lot of dedication and practice to perfect.

Finally, last but by no means least, Swaledale spectacularly dazzled the audience with their adaptation of the fascinating ‘The Rear Window’. In this performance, the actors portrayed a whole range of skills from body propping to mirroring and this really brought a new perspective to it. On the whole, the piece was immensely compelling and had the audience hooked from the very beginning to the very end.

Not forgetting of course, the magnificent tech team that sorted the music and lighting demands of the directors with ease, allowing the productions to run smoothly.

All the students that performed/directed the productions are incredibly talented and definitely made House Drama 2015 one to remember. However, a special congratulations to Tommy Jackson from Swaledale who won ‘Best Actor’, Rhianna Barker from Nidderdale who won ‘Best Actress’, Swaledale for winning ‘Best Rehearsal’ and Airedale for winning the award ‘Best Production’.

By Lucy Gilbert

GCSE Drama, Btec Performing Arts (Acting) 

The Year 10/11 BTEC PA students showcased their talents in December; they performed scripted extracts from a range of contemporary scripts and Godber’s ‘Teechers’. They had the audience roaring with laughter with their polished and comical performances. Very impressive.

The Year 10/11 GCSE Drama group also completed their first Controlled Assessments in December. Each group interpreted Godber’s ‘Teechers’. The script extracts were performed in a slick and polished manner. Congratulations on their hard work and success.

The Year 12 BTEC PA students also showcased their work on Wednesday 16th December performing an intense version of ‘Chamber Music’. We were impressed by the hard work and commitment exhibited by the group in their first term as A level students.

The Year 13 BTEC PA students completed units on Shakespeare and Greek theatre compelling their audiences made up of younger students. A most talented and hard working class who continue to completely challenge themselves and their audiences.

Drama Clubs

The Year 7 Drama Club has proved very popular with 30+ students attending every week.  The focus for the term was building confidence, making new friends and improving improvisation skills.  Well done on a fantastic term of drama to all that have attended. This club is held in the Drama Stalls every Tuesday lunchtime from 12.35 to 1.05pm.

The Year 8/9 Drama Club have been busy at it again this year creating new, exciting pieces of Drama. The focus this term has come from the students as they have tried to recreate the atmosphere of the Great Fire of London. The work has consisted of physical theatre and narrative for a poem. If you are in Year 8/9 and are interested in joining, please come along to the Circle on Tuesday at 12:40.

The students in KS4 Drama Club have been involved in lots of fun drama activities this term helping them improve confidence and having the ability to be able to stand up and say - this is who I am and what I’m capable of.  We have been finding out how drama trains you for the future as well as taking on different characters; emotions and problems.

School Production

This year’s school production sees KJS students perform Little Shop of Horrors, a comedy horror rock musical about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. The cast are currently working hard in rehearsals to make sure that this is a show never to be forgotten. The curtain goes up on February 2nd until February 5th at 7:00pm and tickets are on sale from January. Please come and support the school and students in a bloodcurdling and hilarious night of theatre.

Technical Crew

Once again the tech group have worked incredibly hard hosting House Drama. Huge thanks and congratulations to all of the amazing tech crew, particularly to Matt Carnazza who continues to head up this talented team. Plenty of training and rigging for in house assessments has also proved to keep them busy. We always need earnest, dedicated students who would like to be trained on how to use the technical sound and lighting facilities. See the tech crew on a Thursday lunchtime in the Circle.

Ready Steady Light

It was only when our team of five KJS students started planning our entry for Rose Bruford College´s Ready Steady Light competition that we felt we had bitten off more than we could chew, but with the overwhelming support of peers and teachers alike, coupled with our mutual passion for technical theatre, we went for it! Everyone pulled together in the design process which is when we decided to make the iconic school uniform the main feature of lighting up the school. The head teacher, Carl Sugden, approved by saying “ King James’s School has such  a positive brand, the tartan is virtually unique amongst school uniforms in England, so it was a stroke of genius by the students to think of creatively lighting the school in this way.”

We have a hugely diverse range of theatrical lights at our disposal at King James’s, however we were banned from using these by the parameters of the competition. This lead to many problems but also made it a lot more amusing as we had to source lights from our own collection and other places around the school (which we usually have nothing to do with). We ended up with a mismatched array of lights from desk lamps and torches to photography lamps and band lights. The most important source being the projector which gave the team a much needed source of entertainment in the form of our peers silhouettes in the window as they wrestled with paper, taking our minds off the freezing December night.

Matthew, team leader said, “It was really entertaining to listen to the passers-by attempt to figure out how we had done the tartan while in awe. It really made the whole thing worth it.” He quite appropriately finished off with “now we’ve just got to wait and see if we qualified.”

Autumn Term in the Drama Department

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Autumn Term in the Drama Department