Somerset Times

House Play Festival, 2018

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 7, Term One, 2018

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This year’s House Play Festival, once again, proved to be an action-packed experience for all concerned! The 10 student directors had to edit scripts, audition 134 would-be cast members, cast 80 roles, rehearse, and refine their plays with the support of 10 tech crew members – quite a challenging process to complete in six weeks, especially when you consider this is a student-led festival.

Our Adjudicator, Ms Claire Christian, was clearly impressed with our students’ efforts as she offered feedback to both directors and cast members on Friday night. In particular, Ms Christian praised the Laver House ensemble for their diverse skills, use of space and the directorial decisions of Sebastian Angliss-Li and Trudi Morris in Character Analysis. Jessica Lekich set a new world record for 'the numbers of Rs rolled in 25 minutes with a thick European accent' and she took home a well-deserved Actors’ Award.

Ms Christian loved Franklin House’s capacity to embrace the “weird and wonderful” in Jinxed. Nikolas Sugden’s ’Allo ’Allo-like accent was singled-out as particularly convincing; and, on this front, Amy Jackson also amazing, in the humble view of the author.

Veivers’ House provided the "punctuation mark" amongst the madness in The Spaghetti Wars, with Ms Christian liking their treatment of more realistic themes; and Ben’s (Bella Harris’) 'wig'! The 'Wedding Scene', presented by Thomas Liu, Eva Wingrove and Shaiv Ranjith, was so poignant it took out the Adjudicators’ Award for the most memorial moment of the evening.

Could this be the reinforcement of a Starkey trademark with another cameo from a House Tutor?! Mr Keefer held his own amongst a strong ensemble in The Invited Audience. Michael Savic was reminiscent of a young Russell Crowe, for mine; and Calvin Walther was both convincing and energetic to the end of this break-neck-(nearly literally, Dom Bensley!)-paced aquatic adventure. Both Michael and Calvin took home Actors’ Awards.

And then came Andrews House who left most asking: was there anything else they could have included in their play?! We had amazing characterisation from Desmond Chuah (who I will not be able to look at in the same way ever again!), “rhymes with Cheezle!” Kurt Grgic, through to Ella Hammond’s, Actors’ Award-winning, portrayal of two, or was it three, characters!

But, proving a flash mob dance routine is still a favourite with audiences and adjudicators alike, Andrews took home the Best Play Trophy! A popular decision which, no doubt, will prove inspirational for Ms Lee’s 'troops' at this early stage of the House Competition!

A special thanks to Mrs Sue Roberts, Miss Greta Morley and Mrs Anna D’Arcy for their support of the Houses; I know our Heads of Houses, Ms Bronwyn Lee, Mrs Allison Foster, Mrs Sally Leslie, Ms Melinda Green and Mr Scott Walsh were very appreciative.

In case you missed the programme, it can be downloaded here.

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