If you love drama, there’s so much on offer at Farlington and everyone has the chance to take part in exciting extra-curricular drama activities. The Senior School puts on two productions a year; a play for years 7 – 9 (Lower School) and a musical for the upper years. This year’s Lower School production of 'Treasure Island' was a real success, and girls had the chance to take part in all aspects of the play, including the set design, backstage work and the performance itself, which took place in the drama studio. Girls also enjoyed being involved in costume and make-up design, as well as the technical aspects of sound and light. The auditions for both of these productions are open to all girls in the appropriate years.
Last year’s Senior extra-curricular musical production – 'Return to the Forbidden Planet' - was a hugely successful collaboration between the drama and music departments. All aspects of the genre were employed as the girls had the chance to sing, dance and act as a variety of well-loved characters to tell the story in front of family and friends. Choreographers were on hand to sharpen the girl's dance moves which brilliantly complemented direction from our drama and music staff.
Both productions use a weekly programme of rehearsals to hone the piece and performances and this gives the girls an opportunity to feel like a member of a professional team. The rehearsals take place in the drama studio where full use of light, sound and costume is available at every rehearsal and a welcoming and supportive atmosphere ensures that everyone feels comfortable and confident. Girls are fully involved in this process and the production is a collaborative effort where girls have the chance to suggest their own creative ideas.
In the build up to the production, the girls have the opportunity to perform in front of their peers as well as pupils in the prep school in a performance workshop setting. This gives them the chance to ‘test’ their performances in front of a supportive, enthusiastic audience before the run begins and it is always enjoyed by the whole school.
Drama in the Prep School culminates in the annual Prep Production in March. This is always eagerly anticipated as every girl in Prep 6 has a speaking part, supported by Prep 5 as the Chorus.
Prep pupils have put on numerous shows – some in the traditional vein such as 'Alice', 'Oliver', 'Annie', 'Wizard of Oz', 'Bugsy Malone' and some, although based on traditional stories and ideas, have had a more original approach such as 'Doo-Wop Wed Widing Hood', 'Flapper', 'Scheherazade', 'Honk', and 'Dream On'. This year, 2014, the Prep School are opting for the madcap musical again with 'Olivia!' – a combination of 'Annie, 'Olivia' and 'My Fair Lady'.
Immediately the new term starts in September, the girls discover what the musical is to be, read the script, learn one of the songs and a short dance routine, and then a short scene, for the audition process. The audition scenes and singing try-outs take place over the next few weeks and the show is cast before the Autumn half-term. The emphasis is strongly on how important it is to work together as a group and for all the girls to be an ensemble, rather than creating a star-vehicle for one or two characters. Rehearsals then start in earnest with the girls learning stagecraft, backstage behaviour and many other valuable lessons along the way.
The girls never fail to deliver a sensational show - full of energetic characters, singing, dancing and acting – which brings in accolades from many members of the audience and leaves the girls with an experience they will always remember.
As if the extra-curricular productions weren’t enough, girls at Farlington also have the opportunity to attend a drama club on Tuesday lunchtimes in the drama studio. This workshop session gives the girls a free space to explore their own creative drama ideas: perhaps they may want to develop something they have learned in lessons, or maybe they have a new idea taken from something they have seen outside of school. Either way, drama club is the place where this can happen with friends and with guidance where necessary from our drama staff.
With so much extra-curricular drama on offer at Farlington, and more exciting plans for the future, your daughter is guaranteed a fun, exciting and memorable experience.
“I really like being someone else pretending to be something completely different to how I normally am…….I enjoy it so much.” (Year 9)