Lights, camera, action! Last Thursday and Friday evenings saw the House Plays Festival come to life for 2021, showcasing the talent, energy, and passion of the House casts in delivering a spectacular two evenings of performances.

As excitement and intensity gained momentum during the first weeks of Term One, in anticipation of the performance evenings, the very essence of the Festival became clear; student collaboration, endeavour and a sense of joining together, students from Years 7 to 12, to create 25 minutes of entertainment for the Somerset community.

Steve Pirie, writer, theatre maker and youth arts worker generously gave of his time to adjudicate Friday’s performance and by all accounts, was impressed with the student-led productions and the ability of Somerset students to engage so authentically in the process of bringing a performance to life.

Veivers House presented a cleverly written Ode to 2020. Written and directed by Ella Kirk and Eva Wingrove, the students in the year 2078 indeed discovered much through a bizarre turn of events. Guests appearances from Head of House – Veivers, Mr Patrick George and Veivers House Tutor Mr Matt McLaughlin were also well-received!

Andrews House, performing Starstruck, took a closer look at the Green Room for a group of high school students who were waiting to audition for the school musical. Directed by Alissa McKenna and Jarvis Dover, the cast’s group dynamics were particularly impressive!

Soumia Lamont and Giulia Provenzano directed the Laver House Play, Assembly. The audience was treated to the world of two types of students: those who get ‘smiley’ faces and those who get ‘frowny’ faces. From safety experts explaining how to stop a bear from attacking to a special visit from The Man with a Tie, the performance did not disappoint.

Anastasia Kouts and Calvin Walther directed the Starkey House Play, Blind Love. A student-devised work, the audience took a trip into the world of dating TV shows with Matt, who was looking for new love. A perfect match was looking unlikely for Matt until he met who he thought was a perfect love.

Franklin House performed The Psychological Adventures of Bill and Toohey, student devised and directed by Ella Stewart and Yeva Brereton. Bill and Toohey, aspiring to start a rock band needed to pass their final psychology exam. The magical phone booth saw the characters travel through time on a memorable adventure to complete the best assignment ever.

All of our actors and directors are to be commended on their wonderful efforts in putting together such a wonderful Festival for 2021. Outstanding Actor awards were given to Heidi Hoffman, Hannah Kennedy, Ava McCarthy and Raye FengXu. The Adjudicator’s Award recipients were Eva Wingrove, Ella Kirk, Calvin Walther, Anastasia Kouts, Ella Stewart and Yeva Brereton for their student-devised work.

The Best Play Award was awarded to Laver House for their highly entertaining performance of Assembly by Barry Weber.

Congratulations to each of the Houses for achieving such wonderful commendations from Steve Pirie.

As always, the work of the Technical Services Crew, Darcy Beynon as Photographer, Mrs Sue Roberts, Mr Stuart Roberts, staff who so generously gave of their time to assist in the theatre is appreciated.

The Festival was delivered 2 weeks earlier this year and the organisation and direction of Mrs Anna D’Arcy is appreciated by staff and students alike. Thank you, Mrs D’Arcy for your exceptional leadership with the Festival! Thank you also to Mrs Flynn and Mr Cash, who assisted our casts, crew and staff.

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