6 July 2022
On Tuesday 28 and Thursday 30 June the chapel lawns at our Senior School were transformed into 18th century France for the Lower School Summer production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
With a cast of 40 performers, supported by 9 students as backstage crew, the fairy tale exploring the theme that we must not always, “trust what we see with our eyes”, was brought to life. To enable the audience to be transported from the centre of Paris to a forest and finally the palace of the Beast, the play was performed in traverse, where the audience sit on either side of a long narrow stage. This is a challenging feat for a professional actor to be able perform in, knowing that the audience are on both sides of you, but the students showed their performing prowess by constantly turning out to them, engaging them directly and telling the story so wonderfully. Led by Grace P. as Beauty and Nina L. and her Father the cast created a performance surpassing their age and ensured the audience were entertained and enthralled throughout.
Andrew Abery, Acting Head of Drama, and director of the production, said,
“When I first envisaged this production, performing it in traverse and in the open air, I knew that it would have its challenges. The cast and crew were just truly amazing from start to finish meaning that from inception to performance we hardly had an issue to overcome. I’m so proud of all of them for bringing this play to life and promoting the important messages within the play. I also could not have done it without the amazing help of Imogen Neale, teacher of Drama, and Kate Weber, teacher of Speech and Drama, who directed the dance set pieces and created all the wonderful costumes”.
Now that St Mary’s is back in the stride of putting on productions, the Music and Drama departments are already excited and planning the school musical for 2022/23. Let’s just say, they are looking forward to ‘getting back into the habit’, if you wanted a subtle clue as to what it might be!