"All Aboard the Calypso" was a familiar phrase last week as Year 6 students participated in their year group performance which took their audience on a worldwide cruise!
The project was written especially for the children in collaboration with Louise Clark, an ISTA artist and writer, funded by the TTS Foundation. The brief was to create a performance which linked closely to their Grand Tour work as part of the Year 6 curriculum where children use their geographical skills to visit different hemispheres, while investigating the contrast between the places people have chosen to live.
Countries were selected and researched, and the writing process began. Once complete, Theresa Chapman, Head of Junior Drama edited the script to ensure all 193 children had a speaking role. In addition, Fiona Knight Lucas, Head of Junior Music provided opportunities for dance, instrumental pieces and choral numbers.
In September 2018, the project was launched to the children in an assembly which saw all the teachers dressed up and in role as competition winners who all wanted to visit a different destination on the Cruise Ship. There was then much excitement at the launch of the Calypso logo competition where children were challenged to design a logo for our ship. The winning logo was selected and featured on magnificent ship funnels of the set and the Crew Uniforms.
Many Drama rehearsals then ensued with roles selected, lines learnt, and Drama skills put to the test. Music lessons were taken up with selecting instruments and learning new compositions for the performance, from Taiko drumming to Irish Jigs, there was no end to the variety. Dancers also attended additional rehearsals after school, practising their numbers Anything Goes and wowing with their Samba moves.
In addition to this, a group of dedicated Year 6 children attended a weekly production Co-Curricular Activity in which they put together clothes rails, took measurements, collated costumes, labelled hangers and painted set pieces.
The icing on the cake came in the form of a magnificent set, designed and constructed in collaboration with Thomas Edwards, Drama Technician. Details such as festoon lights, lifeboats and jackets all came together to create the final setting.
The result, an entertaining, engagingly witty cultural extravaganza!
Year 6 students said:
"I think I did well because I pulled off the accent quite well."
"I am proud of myself because I think I learnt my lines early and I think that I projected them well."
"Thank you so much Ms Chapman for planning out this play. I absolutely loved every minute of it."
"I loved every single thing about the play."
"When we got to act it makes me happy to know that the audience enjoyed it since we put in so much effort."
"I loved hearing the audience clapping and cheering after the performance."
"I extremely enjoyed every bit of the show and hope I have the opportunity to do something like this again. I loved performing with my class and acting as Annie."
A Year 6 parent added: "We loved the show this evening and it always amazes me how hard they, and the teachers, must have to work to reach these standards. We particularly enjoyed that so many different children had their own roles within it, and thought it was fabulous!"
"The Junior School are very proud of the fantastic arts provision which enables every child to have a moment to shine and to share their talents!" Theresa Chapman, Head of Junior Drama.