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Productions, Lucton School

Productions

Senior School Production: The Darling Buds of May

The Senior School production was a revival of this wonderful TV series.

This year’s Senior production was most certainly up to the usual high standard we have come to expect from Lucton’s excellent drama team.
Some very late cast changes meant we saw a couple of scripts on stage, but we stopped noticing it in no time at all, as we were so mesmerised by the sheer quality of the acting.
All the other usual ingredients were there too: brilliant musical accompaniment by Mr Wall, a fantastic set designed by Mrs Painter-Black and Ellie, costumes and make-up, led by Mrs Duberley, sound and lighting by Ade Collins and Ahmad Sandouka and a brilliant stage crew, managed by Millie Bufton.
Mrs Waters and Mrs Sharman were very pleased with everyone’s contribution to three tremendous performances. 

lucton school senior production of the darling buds of may december 2016 web1

Middle School Production: The Sound of Music

The Upper Hall was alive with the sound of music during the Middle School’s production in March. We were transported back to 1930s Austria, evoked through costumes redolent of the period and designed and created by the talented Mrs Clare Duberley. The von Trapp children alone had five costume changes and Maria had seven. The slickness of the backstage crew ensured that these took place without a hitch, as did the scenery changes.
 Of course, we all have a favourite song from the original film production of 196 and many of the audience were quietly singing along as we were treated to the dulcet tones of the von Trapp children singing ‘My Favourite Things’ as they sat on Maria’s bed as well as the lively rendition of The Lonely Goatherd by the entire cast and starring Tim as a very convincing goat. Klara Tenhagen’s solo of’ Edelweiss’ was particularly moving and one of the highlights of her performance in the role of Baron von Trapp. She was convincingly restrained in the role, particularly in the scene in which the baron summons his children by way of whistle. Her performance was all the more remarkable considering that Klara was speaking in her second language. Her interactions with Amelia-Sky Stevens who played Elsa allowed both actors to play the formal, conventionally respectable relationship between them to excellent effect.
 The von Trapp children’s performances were also memorable, from the elegant portrayal of Liesel by Natalie Powell, in particular in her charming scene with the talented Herbie Westhorpe as Rolf, down to the delightful Gretl, portrayed by Grace Bach and the endearing performance of Tiphany Williams as Marta. In addition, Alex Wood charmed the audience in his portrayal of an important little person, Kurt, and Harry Digwood in his first role at Lucton was a convincing  Friedrich. Grace Marriott  was also  impressive as a spirited Louisa whilst Niav Fellows won the audience over as Brigitta.
 Plaudits must go to Mr Wall for the quality of the singing generally throughout the production as well as the wonderful musical accompaniment.
In her role as Maria, Maddie Lewis provided clear evidence of the talent which has secured her a place at the Italia Conti Drama School; her scenes with a particularly credible Felicity Aston as Mother Abbess and those in which she interacted with the children were particularly assured. Having now taken significant roles in several school productions: as Nancy in ‘Oliver’, as Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and as Mariette in ‘The Darling Buds of May’, Maddie  has emerged as an accomplished and confident performer and commands attention when she is on stage.
It is always interesting to observe in these school productions how Mrs Sharman and Mrs Waters utilize the whole auditorium, to keep the audience engaged and involved. The scene in which the cast of nuns sang as they paraded through the audience towards the stage was particularly moving and it was sometimes easy to forget that the pupils in the production, other than Baron von Trapp and Maria, were no more than thirteen years old, given the assurance with which they commanded their roles.  
Humour was not lacking in this performance as was evident in Tim White’s role as a goat in the goatherd song. Then there was Guy Bicker-Caarten’s performance as Max. Again, Guy is a performer who has grown in stature, having honed his acting skills in former productions of ‘Oliver’ and ‘Peter Pan’ and he was utterly convincing in this role.
In summary, this was another dazzling performance and clear evidence of the strength of drama at Lucton School. On each occasion, the directors and children rise to the challenges set in putting on a full scale production in a few short months, often, as in this production, with the pupils taking on several roles. Mrs Sharman and Mrs Waters are commendably adept at identifying and developing the children’s nascent talents and, without exception, presenting us with a show not to be forgotten. The Sound of Music was the latest in a very long line of examples of this.
 
the sound of music at lucton school web1

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