16 February 2023
To perform one of Broadway’s most beloved tales is no mean feat, but the cast rose to the challenge with creativity, courage and immense collaborative spirit, resulting in two sensational performances. Over 700 audience members were transported to the backstreets of 1950s New York and immersed in a tale of gangsters, gamblers and, above all, the redemptive power of love.
Headmistress Lucy Elphinstone has described how the cast of all ages, and particularly the youngest members, took the example of the Fearless Girl statue which stands in our school reception, overcoming nerves and self-consciousness in order to give brilliantly convincing performances which rendered their audiences equally enthralled, amused and moved from start to finish:
“In overcoming their sense of inadequacy and trepidation, they have discovered hidden talents, unknown strengths and unexpected joy. They offer this production not for their own glorification but for the happiness of their loved ones, to whom they owe so much for their trust and encouragement.”
FHS parents Carlos and Stephanie were blown away by the standard of the performance, commenting:
“It is precisely experiences like these that make an education at FHS unlike any other. We are continuously blown away by the incredibly high bar that is met time and time again, but even more so by the opportunity given to all to participate and grow so much in the process.”
The impressive history of FHS’s legendary annual theatre productions (the most recent being spectacular performances of Made in Dagenham at The Adelphi in 2022 and Singin’ in the Rain at The Shaftsbury in 2019) reflects the extraordinary versatility and range of our young actors, and the vision and belief of their directors. We believe that drama fosters community and facilitates communication, and is a medium by which young people, through the power of language and image, can come to know themselves and others better.
The School has long been famed for its excellent reputation for Performing Arts, with notable alumnae including Sienna Miller, Emerald Fennell, Emilia Fox and Gemma Jones, to name only a few, and every year a number of Upper Sixth leavers are awarded places at leading drama schools. With at least 12 productions per year, varying from Physical Theatre to Classic Theatre to Musical Theatre, there are countless opportunities for girls to get involved, and in doing so develop their creativity and refine their problem-solving skills. Beyond the curriculum, girls are frequently involved in institutions such as the National Youth Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre and the RADA Youth Theatre, and we have been privileged to be able to host workshops with some of the country’s most ground-breaking and influential modern theatre companies such as Frantic Assembly and YoungBlood Fight Directors.
Congratulations to all girls and staff (particularly the incredible FHS Drama and Music Departments) involved in producing such a brilliant show. It is impossible to single out any one actor’s performance, but special mentions must be given to our phenomenal Year 13 leads: Isabella O’Neill as Nathan Detroit, Tess Vogels as Miss Adelaide, Raphaella Hawkins as Sky Masterson and Palmer Newson as Sarah Brown. It was impossible not to leave the theatre feeling uplifted, and all who attended were in agreement that it is an honour it was to be part of such a vivacious, talented and cohesive school community. We look forward to watching our pupils’ promising acting careers continue to flourish in years to come.
Please click here to view the highlights video of this fabulous production.