Productions are an important part of the termly and annual calendar, enjoyed by the whole School community.
The programme includes large scale productions with pupils performing and involved in every aspect of the production, smaller productions, House Drama events, World Drama inspired evenings and GCSE and A Level works.
Each Autumn Term we stage either a musical or a full length play which becomes a focus for all of the performing arts subjects: drama, dance and music. Students are involved at every level of production, including: musical direction, directing, choreography, performing, tech/ costume/ set design and operation and stage management. Our music and drama departments work closely together to ensure we maintain our high standard of production.
In the Heights
December 2018 – In The Heights – Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway hit, was performed this week at Caterham School.
The production involved 60 performers and 18 pupils in front-of-house and backstage roles. A challenging, high energy production that brought the heart of New York’s Hip Hop and Latin Culture to Caterham! Many incredible, professional performances – boosted by a visit from Gabriela Garcia who played the lead role in the West End production.
Edinburgh Fringe 2018: And Then There’s Me…
Caterham performers have just returned from the Edinburgh Fringe, inspired by incredible theatre and proud of their achievements in this competitive platform. It’s the biggest arts festival in the world, so an exciting variety of over 3500 shows from 55 countries, so our pupils need to use all their creative and communication skills to make their show stand out!
This year we performed a piece of original writing focusing on the important theme of mental health. We created a play celebrating difference and individuality called And Then There’s Me….. which required the cast to perform in a range of styles, work together as a tight ensemble and portray a range of characters. They achieved all these things brilliantly!
Our actors learnt so much from interacting with other companies and professionals. Resilience, confidence and communication skills quickly develop when faced with the competition of other companies. The experience of working together as a theatre company, taking shared responsibility for the success of the show was invaluable. This is a real-life experience of team work as they take the production through from concept to performance. The creative skills gained through this process will support any future career path they choose. One pupil this year said, “The feel of being at the Fringe with so many other theatre groups, amateur and professional, was unforgettable and incredible”.
A massive thank you to all staff and parents who joined us leafleting on the Mile!
Louise Fahey/Head of Drama and Theatre
Edinburgh Fringe 2017 Success for Caterham Rep!
This summer Caterham School performed at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performing at the fantastic SpaceTriplex. The cast consisted of twelve actors aged 15 – 18 years who performed a high energy adaptation of Jonson’s The Alchemist. Our young actors rose to the challenge of performing in a professional venue with 370 shows per day offering competition for audiences! Despite the competition we achieved a sell-out show on our last night!
I was delighted by their talent, professionalism and positive attitude throughout this trip. It was an incredible experience for all involved. Louise Fahey
Success at Leatherhead Festival 2018!
Building on our success last year at the festival this year we came away with 3 awards!
Caterham School were awarded the Richard Houghton Award for bringing no less than six plays (five of which were new plays) to the festival. This award really reflects the dedication and commitment of our students.
The cast of Destiny were awarded Best New Writing within the junior festival. This is the first play this group has written and reflects their creativity and hard work.
Also within the cast of Destiny, one of our young actors was awarded the ‘Best Actress’ award. Grace Godfrey played a complex character, managing difficult issues and trying to maintain her place within a friendship group. Grace performed the role maturely and professionally and thoroughly deserved the award.
I am of course, extremely proud of all our talented performers and writers. A tremendous list of awards, well done!
Daisy pulls it off
15 February 2019
This week saw the Humphreys Theatre transformed into Grangewood School for Girls as pupils from the First to Third Years took to the stage for a topping performance of Denise Deegan’s spoof of school girl adventures: Daisy Pulls it Off. With cries of ‘jubilate’ and ‘how topping!’, plucky Elementary schoolgirl, Daisy Meredith, played brilliantly by Eloise and best pal Trixie (played with energy and enthusiasm by Zoe) find themselves battling to save Daisy’s reputation from unspeakable snobs Sybil (Asha) and Monica (Penny) as well as trying to discover the Beaumont treasure that will save the school and Clare’s (played delightfully by Anna) family from ruin! With hilarious set pieces, including a cliff rescue, a choreographed hockey match and high jinks in the classroom, this play showcased some fabulous comic talent and impressive ensemble work. Well done to all the pupils involve! As well as this spiffingly entertaining play, the Lower School also delighted the audience with a puppet show and a devised piece, written by members of the Third Year and lead by Flora.
Alice in wonderland
8 February 2018
A cast of over 80 First to Fourth Year pupils brought Lewis Carroll’s delightful world of nonsense to life on Wednesday 7 February and Thursday 8 February. With an array of fabulously colourful costumes, the well-known and much loved characters entertained their audience with Carroll’s witty dialogue as well as a beautifully whimsical choral rendition of How doth the Little Crocodile accompanied by Paige’s wonderful dancing crocodile. There was also a glorious Lobster quadrille with 32 lobsters, seals and turtles reliving the Mock-Turtle and Gryphons’s glory days. The two Alices shone as the young Alice Liddell, taking the audience seamlessly though some enchanting set scenes, such as the Mad Hatter’s tea party, which was very convincingly portrayed by Josh M as the March Hare, Josh C as the Mad Hatter and Scarlett as the soporific Dormouse. Act two also saw the stage of the Humphreys Theatre transformed into a world of cards playing a crazy croquet game with rolling hedgehogs, live croquet hoops and a formidable Anastasia as the Queen of Hearts terrorising every creature on stage, including the enigmatic Cheshire Cat before Alice finds herself back on the riverbank begging Charles to write down her adventures underground and thank goodness she did. Mrs Yankova, the Director said, “this is my all-time favourite story and I loved having so many pupils, from so many different year groups, involved, both on stage and backstage, making props, doing make up and assisting with the lighting and sound. It’s been hard work with only one rehearsal a week but Caterham pupils, as ever, have risen to the challenge and done both themselves and the School proud.”
Elizabethan drama festival
Our Elizabethan Festival not only enjoyed beautiful sunshine in our lovely Orchard Theatre, but was expanded to showcase even more of our talented performers! Audiences were treated to abridged versions of As you Like it and The Winter’s Tale. We also presented an original short play written by Flora (2nd year) and an extract of the comedy ‘Postcards from Shakespeare’ directed by Eloise (2nd year). We are delighted that so many of our pupils are exploring writing and directing, amongst other key roles within the creative industries.
This year all houses created original pieces of drama incorporating specific items given to them – a hat, an inflatable and a slightly bizarre phrase.
We were taken on a journey through fairy tales and witches, Asda shopping trips and evil inflatable monkeys! Once again our directors used their vivid imagination to create surreal, unpredictable but exciting plotlines.
Our judges were two experienced performers and directors, Jane Maisey and Catherine Blundell.
This year’s winners were Harestone for the 4th Year in a row with a journey into a world of sinister frogs! Ridgefield came a very close second.
Well done to all houses and congratulations on another enjoyable drama event.
Winter Production: Pupils Bring Dickens’ Classic to Life
A Dickens’ classic was brought to life by Caterham drama students in our David Copperfield senior production.
Over 50 performers, from Third Year to Upper Sixth, invited an impressed audience into the fictional world of the Murdstones, the Yarmouth boat house, Salem House School, Murdstone and Grinby’s bottle factory and Wickfield’s law firm. The standard of acting and ensemble work was superb, with carefully considered, energetic and professional performances throughout.
The Yarmouth women led us through the action, as we follow David’s typically Dickensian losses, unhappiness, challenges, until a happy future emerges! Peggotty led us into the play with energy and warmth, establishing the warm world of her Yarmouth family. Arjun gave an outstanding performance as Peggotty’s brother, Dan, with authentic Norfolk accent and superb characterisation.
The harsh Murdstones were portrayed frighteningly well. Contrasting their rigid world, the crazy lives of the Micawber’s filled the stage with colour and chaos. Mrs Micawber’s squeals of ‘I will never desert you ……’ were met with equally passionate responses from Micawber. Aunt Betsey brought further eccentricity to the stage, whilst Agnes was performed sensitively and brought a sense of hope and friendship. Ross’ portrayal of Uriah Heep was exceptional. His characterisation chilled the audience as deceived and schemed, ultimately leading to his own downfall.
Special congratulations must go to Seb who played David Copperfield. He gave an exceptionally mature performance, leading all action with energy and purpose and showing incredible awareness of the range of characters he interacted with.
The ensemble in this production were incredibly strong, transforming themselves from fishermen to factory workers to school boys …. And countless other characters. They brought the stage to life, with each individual character carefully considered and performed.
The production was professionally supported by an entirely pupil-led team of 15 technical and backstage crew, who ensure the production runs smoothly and that the audience is further drawn into the world of the play through carefully researched props, atmospheric lighting and sound. Scenes are changed in seconds and props seemingly produced from nowhere, sound effects and lighting changes seamlessly merge!
The cast and crew can all be proud of this memorable production. Every pupil involved has contributed to its success.
Grease is the Word!
Caterham School Production 2016
Humphreys Theatre was transformed into Rydell High School this week as Greasers slouched on the bleachers, the Pink Ladies partied, Patty shook her pom poms, Eugene escaped from the clutches of Cha Cha and Miss Lynch tried to keep control of the 75 strong cast.
Well known songs, such as Greased Lightning, Summer Nights and You’re the One that I Want were brought to life by the amazing Grease Band and fantastic singing and dancing.
Lauren Hunt-Williams as Sandy and Hugo Soer as Danny performed outstanding solos of Hopelessly Devoted and Sandy, creating a powerful emotional connection with the audience within an energetic, action packed show. The Teen Angel boy band and dancers, led by Nathan Freedman, made a theatrical entrance in a sea of haze, angel wings and hair curlers.
This year’s backstage and technical teams were entirely student run. Their professionalism and efficiency were outstanding, as lights, sound, props, set, costume and make up worked together to add context, colour and sparkle to the production.
By the end of the show the audience were on their feet hand jiving with the cast as Johnny Casino (Will Ward) led the entire auditorium in a sensational reprise of Born to Hand Jive.
Our Town (2015)
Les Misérables (2014)
On December 3rd, 4th and 5th, Caterham School students performed Les Misérables -School Edition in the School’s theatre. There were four performances, including the matinee, and every seat was occupied throughout.
The role of Valjean was played by Will Paxton with Will Ward as Javert, Will Huke as Marius, Lauren Hunt-Williams as Cosette, Kira McGovern as Eponine and Jessica Reeve as Fantine. The School orchestra provided the music, with student teams providing backstage and technical support.
Boublil and Schönberg’s musical, based on the book by Victor Hugo, recounts the struggle against poverty and oppression in 19th Century France and the brief, but tragic 1842 revolution.
Head of Drama, Mrs Louise Fahey said: ‘Every one of the 80 students involved has contributed to the success of this show. They have demonstrated exceptional talent as performers, musicians, costume designers, technicians and stage managers. I am so impressed by the high professional standard the students have achieved. An outstanding achievement and a memorable production.’