9 August 2016
This term we are especially proud of four theatrical Pipers girls who have had the opportunity to display their exceptional talent on the professional stage in national theatre productions.
Christiana Hutchings (12 years old) is currently performing at the Palace Theatre in London in the eagerly awaited new production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” – the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. Being part of the cast is a fantastic achievement for Christiana and we are all very excited for her. Christiana says, “It has been a fantastic experience rehearsing for Harry Potter and I can’t wait until opening night. I was very anxious through the audition process and I didn’t expect to get the part, but I’m very glad I did. It is my first stage performance and I hope to do more plays and TV work in the future. If there is one thing I have learnt from the process it is that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it – you never know what might happen.”
Twins, Felicity and Verity Biggs (11 years old), are currently performing in the Disney and Cameron Macintosh touring production of “Mary Poppins”, both playing the part of Jane Banks. Felicity and Verity have previously been involved in a number of local productions, including the Fourways Theatre group’s outdoor productions of “The Tempest” and “Richard III”, staged in the Pipers grounds.
Matilda Hopkins (11 years old) completed a run at the Milton Keynes Theatre, as well as a UK and Ireland tour, playing the part of July in “Annie”, where she starred alongside Craig Revel Horwood, Lesley Joseph and Jodie Prenger. Tilly is no stranger to the theatre, having previously been on the West End stage, playing Young Eponine in the musical “Les Miserables” at the Queen’s Theatre, London in 2014. When asked about her experience Tilly said, “Being on the ‘Annie’ tour was very exciting. The best bits about performing were the feeling you get when you are up on stage, having professional hair and make-up done and also spending time with new people and getting to know them. In the future my ambition is to become a theatre director.”
At Pipers we encourage all girls to further their talents and these four girls are the latest in a long line of Pipers’ students who have combined professional performing roles with their academic studies.
The school’s recently launched “Create” programme, an exciting series of drama workshops which aim to redefine and extend aspirational theatrical experiences, is a new initiative to help students who wish to work in the theatre, media, film and television to engage with, and learn from, industry professionals. The workshops, a series of six – 10 week courses, are aimed at young people aged 11 – 18 and are part of the school’s initiative to increase opportunities for current students, as well as those in the local area. They include film making, stand-up and sketch comedy and musical theatre improvisation.
Headmistress, Mrs Ness-Gifford said “We are very proud of Felicity, Verity, Tilly and Chrissy. They have each worked so hard this term, and throughout the year, fitting in their academic studies, alongside auditions, rehearsals and performances. Having four girls in professional productions is unusual for a non-performing arts school and the girls are to be commended for their talent and dedication. As we look ahead to the opening of our new £5 million Arts Centre in September, which includes a state-of-the-art 280 seat theatre, I cannot wait to see how much more they will develop and what other opportunities might become open, not only for these four girls, but all the other aspiring performers we are lucky to have here at Pipers Corner.”