The Lower School Arts Soirée

Lower School Arts Soiree Scene

The Lower School Arts Soirée offered an opportunity to showcase some of our youngest talented performers. An evening’s entertainment combining the two performing arts of music and drama created a wonderful show for all.

The evening started with our musicians in the Archer Recital Hall where the Chancel Choir performed first with a polished performance of Will Todd’s The Call of Wisdom, featuring a lovely solo from Nell (UIV). The central part of the concert was giving over to chamber ensembles which included three of our Flute Groups: Popp, Quantz and Tromlitz, with a somewhat theatrical series of arrangements such as Verdi’s La Donna è Mobile, the ‘Pizzicato’ from Delibes’ Sylvia and the Overture to Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. String chamber ensembles were represented by a promising UIII String Duo and the awarding-winning Piano Trio who performed Three Miniatures by Frank Bridge. There was an upbeat end to the concert with the Junior Concert Band’s lively renditions of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and Rick Astley’s, ever popular, Never Gonna Give You Up.

Then the show moved to our Lower Four actors as they performed The Wardrobe. Read Clelia and Tina’s thoughts on the performance and build up to the night below.

The play is based around an old wardrobe as it is passed from place to place. It progresses through important times in British history and takes the audience on a dramatic, humorous and gripping adventure. Throughout the centuries, people come to the wardrobe looking for something that they are missing. Whether it was sanctuary, friendship or dreams, they always leave with something new. Ranging from Elizabeth of York (the mother of King Henry VIII) to the times when slavery was legal in Britain, and all the way to modern-day, The Wardrobe never ceased to surprise us with its surprising encounters.

Our own scene was set in 1733 and showed two brothers, aged 18 and 13, hiding in the wardrobe learning Hebrew. There isn’t anything funny about that you might say, but when the younger brother whips out a banana from his jacket, the look of surprise and admiration from his sibling was very comedic.

The award of the goriest scene went to scene three, which was set during the Civil War, and although there isn’t any blood or severed limbs, the speech was quite terrifying. The characters in the ‘Industrial Revolution’ scene were particularly fun to listen to, as they compared their rat bites, scratches and other injuries from working in a mill, you couldn’t help but ‘lend an ear’ to the interesting dialogue.

The most difficult moments of the performance were probably getting the transitions between the scenes right, although they seemed straightforward and clean on stage, the work and effort behind the scenes was immense. Whether it was turning the wardrobe itself, being on stage as a schoolchild to cover the movement, or backstage, helping the next scene to get ready, everyone had a role to play.

The best part of being involved in The Wardrobe was the rehearsals with Mr Harrington. He was always positive no matter how bad the scene changes were or how many times we stumbled on our lines. He was always there to give us feedback and suggestions. Joking around with cast members while cooperating and creating a play was extremely rewarding and made the process so much more fun. It would also have been impossible to complete without the help from the tech and backstage staff.

It was amazing to be part of the rehearsal process, but it was even more amazing to see it being performed. We have all loved the experience and are sad to not be able to perform it again.

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