What the Heck?
27th April 2012
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What the Heck?

Give 5 different groups of teenagers a brief to write a play entitled 'What the heck?' and what do you think you'll get? That was exactly what Heanor Gate Science College found out last night as they held the finals of their House Short Play Festival.

Each of the 5 Houses at the school was given this title, and instructions to include a letter, a box and a case in the piece, but no other direction at all. They were then left to produce their plays completely themselves. Students took full responsibility for writing a script, casting, rehearsing, props, music, lights and all of the other organisation that goes into such a production. 

The results were amazing, and incredibly varied! 

Each group had come up with a completely different idea, and had obviously worked really hard to make their play fun and entertaining. There were some brilliant uses of props, some hilarious jokes and some outstanding individual performances but in the end it was Sudbury House who won the competition with an account of 5 children and their teacher on a  school trip to a museum which had the audience in fits of laughter. 

Judges Bethany Sheldon, who runs the Maison Foo Theatre Co, and Dan Collington, a freelance Assistant Stage Manager, both ex-pupils of the school, were more than impressed with all the performances. Scoring Sudbury's play an incredible 192 out of 200, they said

"We were really impressed with the variety of the plays and the performances themselves. Every group had something different, some hilarious and original ideas and characters which made it really hard to judge. 

But the play that stood out was Sudbury's. They created fantastic, believable characterisations and managed to take the audience with them into each setting, the script building in each scene until the final closing punch line."

Head of Drama, Mrs Walker was really pleased with all the students who had taken part. "this is the first year that the students have had nothing but a title to work from and we were intrigued to find out how they coped.  All the students have worked incredibly hard and it's been a privilege to see their work coming together. Students from all years across the school have been involved, working under the guidance of directors and producers from years 10 and 11. What was great to see was that not all the students who've taken part are ones that are studying drama. 

My thanks also go to the members of staff from each house who were game enough to take on a cameo role. "

We're already looking forward to next year's competition!! 


About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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