As this Lent term draws to a close I wish you all an excellent and restful Easter holiday.
The pace of the final week of term certainly lends itself to being a great contrast to the upcoming period of rest.
The explosion of talent showcased in the school production of “Emil and the Detectives” met with universal acclaim from all those who were privileged to attend.
Our drama room, with its intimate, raked seating installed became a space transformed to take the audience back to Berlin pre-war.
Parents, siblings, friends of the school, governors and guests were all astonished by the standards achieved by all the children. The ensemble work, the theatricality, the physical techniques, the soundscape, choreography, lighting, set, music and direction were all of the highest quality. As I said to staff, one phenomenal imagination was at work to create this piece with the help of some phenomenally talented children. What was created revealed hours and hours of care, time and commitment from everyone involved and a huge amount of learning. The bringing together of the whole company of supporters and backstage assistants, costume changers, make up and hair artists, bar tenders, and backstage crew, reunited many old friends and we thank them for being part of the team that put on this extraordinary show.
The children were energised, focused, joyful, talented and very mature in their interpretations of their roles. Our pleasure in seeing what they achieved cannot be underestimated, whether in extended, sustained solo performances, such as the roles of Emil, Pony and Mr Snow, or part of the group of children or adults, whether creating movement in a crowd or on a tram, or creating a mood or emotion, the ensemble work was tight and extraordinarily accomplished. Particular thanks go to all those who built the set, designed the programme, procured props and clothes and a particular mention to Rachael Newton who assisted and prompted at all rehearsals, Ali Landgrebe, our wardrobe mistress, and her team, Mary Bridges who choreographed the dancing sequences and ably stood in for a pupil, Emily the producer and congratulations and thanks to Alan Powell for being the best Head of Drama anyone could wish to have and for achieving and enabling something so spectacularly special. Congratulations to every single person involved.
The Cast of Emil and the Detectives
|Director||Mr A Powell|
|Producer||Miss E Aisher|
|Stage Manager||Mrs R Newton|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Mr J Sabin|
|Choreographer||Mrs M Bridges|
|Sound||Mr T Everett|
|Lighting||Mr J Mitchell|
|Wardrobe Mistress||Mrs A Landgrebe|
|Assistant Wardrobe Mistress||Mrs G Dandeniya|
|Hair and Make-up Mistress||Miss B Campbell|
|Hair and Make-up||Miss H Campbell, Ms K Woods and Mrs O Begg|
|Set Design||Mrs A Begbey|
|Set Construction||Mr B Buggs and the School Estates Team|
|Props||Mrs A Begbey|
|Programme||Mrs L Andrade|
|Poster and Programme Art||Mrs A Begbey|
|Front of House Manager||Mrs L Shield|
|Bar||Mr B Seath and Mr C Shield|
|Ida Tischbein||S Edwards-Matthews|
|Mrs Wirth||A Moore|
|Mr Snow||J Crossley|
|Grandma Tischbein||E Ward|
|Miss Zeittel/Miss Closs||T Elliott|
|Man from the 177||O Goodwin|
|Mrs Gans||A Anglin|
|Mr Tuesday||R Friis|
|Mrs Tuesday||O Crane|
|Station Master||T Sales|
|Emil Tischbein||T Bulley|
|Silent Isaac||E Hudson|
|Berlin Street Kids|
|Mlle Dubois||F Ashdown|
|Mme Mimi||Miss E Balcombe|
|C M Pape|
|Mrs M Bridges|
|D El Angbawi|
Thank you to Mrs S Maltarp, Mrs R Winter, Miss H Darlington, Mrs R Baisch, Mrs J Poracchia and Mr O Chugg.
Thank you to Mr I Smith and the estates team, the office staff, the marketing department and all our parents and members of staff who gave up their time to help with the production of the show.
Last week I gave my last assembly on how to get rid of plastic and took as my theme the birthday party.
I’ve asked the team to put my assembly PowerPoint on the Parent Portal for anyone who would like to see it. Certainly there are some good ideas about recycling wrapping paper, using ribbon instead of Sellotape, so that re-use of the wrapping paper is possible, creating your own decorations, and some funky videos of people doing just that, considering using normal plates and glasses as opposed to themed plastic or waxed paper ones, making your own party bags and putting in them something small and environmentally friendly like a packet of seeds for the child to grow and finally specific advice for parents.
So parents could consider….
- Getting together as a group to buy or make decorations that don’t use plastic and it could be shared by the year group on a loan basis
- Abandoning party bags altogether or, if you do have them, making them out of recycled paper
- Considering cupcakes to take home or something to plant in the garden that attracts insects
- Asking some parents to come and help wash up your real plates and cups so that the end of the party is not the beginning of your nightmare!
It’s been nice to have such positive feedback from the parents who have taken the time to be in touch about my plastics theme and I know that the children take seriously some of the ideas and wish to incorporate them in your household routines. Later this year I intend to run a short survey about changing plastic use in your house so that I can gauge the impact of talking to children week by week about things that matter to me and to our world.
My theme in my final assembly will touch upon the miracle and the shock of Easter.
The virgin birth and the resurrection are two of the most astonishing stories of all time and in re-visiting them year after year we still can find something fresh to say and to think about from within the depths of these stories. For me, I think my sense of what Easter is about is the bringing of hope. In the depths of despair and at a time in which it seemed that everything had come to a final end, there arose such a miracle that brought new hope, new life and regeneration to the disciples learning from their great teacher.
I hope that Easter is a time for new hope for you and that you can rejoice in the time that you have together.
Our Salzburg trip sets off the day before term starts and I shall be away enjoying the music and culture of this beautiful city and the companionship of your talented offspring. In my absence, my deputies and my secretary Helen will be pleased to help anyone who needs it and I hope that many of you will follow our travels and adventures on my Twitter feed.
I wish you all a very happy Easter holiday.