Fun Night Out at The Charity Talent Show
Thanks to the sterling work of Mr Patterson, Mr Fahey, and the Charity Committee, the countdown to the show had started in mid-October, when the audition window was opened (with Anoushka and Amali, Upper Sixth, overseeing the audition process). The best way to hype up a landmark event in the school calendar, or any other calendar, is always to have a ceremonial countdown for it, and this certainly paid off for the Talent Show. (Not least because Vincent’s opening act at the Talent Show was his electric guitar rendition of The Final Countdown.)
As Mrs Yankova, Mrs Fahey and I took our seats at the judges’ desk, having greeted the Charity Committee at their refreshments stall in the Performing Arts Centre Foyer, we prepared ourselves for a very difficult series of decisions. Having watched some technical rehearsals during the previous week, I was silently cheering all the acts on, but I was nowhere near a final verdict about who our top three acts would be until we retired to the Music Technology Suite to deliberate.
Our twelve acts did themselves very proud. We had some exemplary instrumental performances, some joyous dances, and some fantastic singing and acting. Our host, Stuart (Upper Sixth; third place finisher in the 2023 Talent Show), introduced them all and added his comedic twists to proceedings along the way, including a staged interpolation of Michael McIntyre’s “Send to All” feature. We even had one act who, as I mentioned to them after the show, would play the villainous Missy in Doctor Who extremely well if she ever returns to that show and Michelle Gomez is unavailable to reprise the role.
In the end, we awarded third place to Isabella (Fifth Year), for her boundlessly fun dance to Jax Jones and Demi Lovato’s Instruction – a perfect illustration of Talent Show spirit. Poppy and Erin (Second and First Year respectively) took second place with their sharp and spirited dance to Bruno Mars’ Runaway Baby, a song which I have always associated with Ore Oduba’s chart-breakingly amazing (and series-winning) jive from Strictly Come Dancing. Step aside, Mr Oduba. Zandi (Upper Sixth) won first place for her fantastically acted rendition of a song whose title escapes me. Meanwhile, Marcus and Jerry (Upper Sixth) won the audience vote with their high-stakes blindfolded performance of JVKE’s Golden Hour on cello and piano. We presented these winning acts with their well-deserved trophies, and then we all took our seats again for the signature event of every Talent Show evening since at least 2010: the Upper Sixth Dance-Off.
The boys introduced their performance with a video inspired by Cilla Black’s iconic TV show Blind Date, a theme which continued throughout their dance, featuring Philip as the host of a revived version of that show. After a few short routines from various teams of boys, the cast returned to the stage for their grand finale number.
The girls’ video was the latest edition to the whodunnit genre in the Talent Show canon. Their routine began with a brief excerpt from Taylor Swift’s ..Ready For It? (which did not go unnoticed by this judge) and included a variety of other set pieces from Bruno Mars to Beyoncé – not to mention an ominous lyric change when Genevieve said “G” instead of Jay-Z’s original lyric “B” in Crazy in Love. In the inimitable style of the Talent Show, this would either foreshadow an incredible victory or backfire brilliantly when the judges’ verdicts were delivered…
..and it turned out to be foreshadowing an incredible victory. The girls won the Dance-Off by receiving three votes in their favour. Congratulations to everyone who took part in this uplifting and joyous institution.
I couldn’t help but think that, with Mrs Yankova and Mrs Fahey as my fellow judges, I was a bit of an impostor in the show. I’ve never been a musician or actor, barring my wilfully hammy performances in Staff Dances and Plays in previous years. The Talent Show is one of my favourite events of the year, though, because it has done so much to encourage the give-it-a-go spirit that I love to see in the performing arts. As a shy child who found his niche by doing a bit of public speaking and stage work, I will always be proud to support this branch of school life, although any pupil seeking informative feedback about their theatre skills should continue to consult Mrs Yankova, Mrs Fahey, or another Performing Arts teacher before asking me.
The countdown to the Charity Talent Show 2025 starts now. Start rehearsing! Until then, thank you to the Charity Committee, Mr Barnes, our team of theatre technicians, Mrs Richards, Mr Moore, and everyone who has contributed to the massive success of this special event.
Mr R. Evans
Teacher of Chemistry, Talent Show Judge, Head of RidgefieldBack to all news