27 February 2023
This week sees Year 9 perform Georgia Christou’s funny, fast-paced play Bright. Young. Things. In collaboration with Director Miss Jarvis and Assistant Directors Amelia and Maddy (Year 12), the cast have been hard at work on the production all term. With the final pieces of preparation being put in place in the technical and dress rehearsals, Year 9 will soon be ready to show a Centenary Theatre audience the product of all their energy and commitment.
Bright. Young. Things. follows six young people who compete in a reality show to be crowned “Britain’s Brainiest Child” and to get their hands on the coveted Golden Brain Trophy. With each new round, the competition gets increasingly trickier, pressure builds and the contestants are faced with questions they were never expecting. Who will emerge victorious – and what does winning even mean?
Ahead of the performances, we caught up with Year 9 actors Jemima and Lewis to hear more about the show, the rehearsal process, and why people should come and watch Bright. Young. Things. …
Firstly, who are you both playing in Bright. Young. Things.? Can you tell us a bit about your character?
Jemima: I am playing Bernadette (Bernie) in Bright Young Things. She is a 13-year-old girl who has already been to university and graduated. Bernie is very smart and bubbly and she wants to make friends with the other contestants on the show but sadly they don’t want to be friends with her.
Lewis: In Bright Young Things, I am playing the role of Hector, one of the six contestants in the game show. My character is quite snooty and stuck up. I really enjoy playing Hector as it is not like anything I have done before, and I believe that it is great to expand your range of role-playing in drama.
What have been the highlights of the rehearsal process so far?
Jemima: I enjoy every rehearsal. I love working on the play with my friends. I love exploring my character even further. Miss Jarvis is always a lot of fun in rehearsals because she’s very patient and we play games to wake us up if need be!
Lewis: So far, I believe that I most enjoy all the times we get to socialise, and all do something that we enjoy. Additionally, I felt proud when we completed the first full run-through of Bright Young Things. We have achieved a lot and we all put in dedication and lots of hard work.
Have you had to overcome any challenges to prepare for the show? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them?
Jemima: Bernie is a very different character to the ones that I’ve played before so I’ve had to learn how to move and speak differently. I’m also on stage for the whole play and so another big challenge is staying in character all the time. I’ve had to think about how when I’m not doing anything I should still be acting, I’ve got to be Bernie reacting to everything being said, not me.
Lewis: As expected, there were some challenges that we had to overcome. For example, we had to make sure that we could attend as many rehearsals as we could so we were able to get through lots of scenes in quick succession. Also, we have to make sure that we are always acting when onstage even if it just reacting to a comment. As a group, we have to overcome these challenges and produce a great show.
More widely, what are the benefits of being involved in drama like this? What skills do you learn?
Jemima: I really love being part of a cast, it’s like being in a sports team. You learn how to work together all of the time. It’s also a really good way to meet new people at school.
Lewis: In my opinion, drama is one of the best ways for many different people to express themselves and show other people their talent and love for it. Drama provides a plethora of soft skills alongside skills for all aspects of life. For example, being a part of a production develops your communication skills when onstage and offstage. Furthermore, there is lots of problem solving and adaptation that you meet along the way as rehearsals change and you must learn your script. Finally, confidence is such an important attribute to hold, and drama is a superb way of growing these skills.
Finally, why should people come and watch Bright Young Things?
Jemima: Bright Young Things is a funny play with quite a simple story. The lesson it teaches is that it’s not about winning, but it’s about the friends that you make along the way. You should also come and see the play because it’s good to support all of your classmates.
Lewis: Firstly, the show is only on for three days, and it is only happening once at school. Also, it is a great way for friends and family to show support for everyone involved in the show. It may convince you to become a part of the next school production or be the answer to a new hobby. It is extremely enjoyable both to watch and to be a part of. I cannot recommend it enough.
Bright. Young. Things. will be performed at the Centenary Theatre from Wednesday 1st March to Friday 3rd March at 7pm. Tickets are available for each night.