What’s on in Performing Arts – April 2015

Hoping everyone had an enjoyable Easter break from everyone here in Performing Arts and that we’re all refreshed and geared up for the many exciting things we have to look forward to with the start of a new term here at Friesland.

Miss Spalton

A round up of what happened last term


Once again the dance students of Friesland produced two evenings of wonderful, high quality dance to sell out audiences. The evenings included various performance groups spanning across all key stages and involved over one hundred students. Click here to read more about this year’s dance show. The dance show also showcased some of the work that has been done with local primary schools with Ladycross Infant School performing their Flintstones piece and Firfield Primary School performing their “New York New York” number. Click here to read more about out primary school dancers

Our ArtsAward students had a fantastically creative morning when they were joined by local artist Elaine Lim-Newton. Working on a 3D sculptural project, Elaine taught them how to work with clay to produce an ‘Initial Tile’, a ‘Face Sculpture’ and a ‘Thump Pot’. Click here to read more.

March proved an extremely exciting month for our A Level dancers, who were to represent Erewash at ‘Interface 2015’ at the Pomegranate Theatre in Chesterfield. This was a fabulous opportunity for our students to showcase their work across Derbyshire in a beautiful venue, in front of Derby’s dance community.  Click here to read more.

Final practical exams for our year 11 GCSE Drama students took place on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March. These took the form of ‘TIE’ pieces, in which the aim is to entertain and educate an audience on a topical issue of their choosing from; Internet Safety, Pressures to Succeed, or Body Image. Some Key Stage 3 drama classes were lucky enough to sit in during the performances in order to provide an authentic audience for our GCSE students.

In addition, our year 12 drama students held public performances of their monologues and/or duologues prior to an examination the following day with an external examiner from the Edexcel board.  The variety of the pieces chosen ranged from Shakespeare, through to modern playwrights such as Simon Stephens and Jim Cartwright. Students from both exam sessions came away with some excellent marks which reflected the hard work and effort over the rehearsal period.

The spring music recital this year took place in the Performing Arts Centre on Thursday 5th March. Our annual music recital is a formal occasion, where our GCSE and A Level music students have the opportunity to perform their examination pieces to a live audience. The evening produced an array of high quality performances, which stood the students in good stead for their examination the week afterwards. Congratulations to all those involved.

Visits to the theatre for our Drama students in March saw two outgoing trips. Year 13 travelled down to Stratford to see the RSC’s production of ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost,’ the play that they will be writing about in their written exam in a few weeks time.  The director’s concept saw the action set in the Edwardian summer of 1914. Only at the end of the play is the merriment curtailed as the lovers agree to submit to a period apart, unaware that the world around them is about to be utterly transformed by the war to end all wars. Meanwhile, year 11 took a trip to the Lakeside Theatre in Nottingham in order to see John Godber’s ‘Bouncers’.  This was a new take on the comedy directed by Godber himself, which explored the darker side to the play that is very rarely seen now. The evenings of entertainment were enjoyed by all, with brilliant examples that will hopefully inspire future performances or assist greatly in the written examination papers.

The year 7 Drama club performed their first ‘TIE’ piece in assemblies to the whole school, in order to raise awareness about Comic Relief during March. Well done to all involved; drama club has now finished for this year so that we can focus all of our efforts on our exciting lower school production, details below.

Across in Media, our year 12 and 13 Film Studies students came into school for two days over the Easter break, in order to work with Film City. They have created a short ‘zom-com’ mockumentary that will be screened as part of a mini film festival at the Quad in Derby. The KS3 students have also been busy developing features and content for the next phase of Radio Friesland. Well done to all of our Film and Media students who have been working extremely hard on their coursework. There is great quality in depth this year.

Looking ahead to this term


Following a busy month of dance in March, Friesland now looks forward to hosting the Erewash Dance Festival 2015 on the 22nd April. Selected pieces from the dance show will be performed once again during this event. In addition, the year 5 Performing Arts mornings will take place just after half term, across the departments of Music, Dance and Drama. This event provides younger performers from a number of primary schools in the area with a real flavour of what we have to offer. Whilst on the subject of primary schools, Mrs York is very much looking forward to doing some Greek Dancing at Ashbrook School and exploring the Digestive System with Year 4 at Firfield!

Students in years 8 and 9 have been preparing for their upcoming LAMDA examinations, with dress rehearsals taking place this week. Much hard work and effort has already been put into these exams. The feedback they receive from teachers Mr Cleaver, Mrs Maclaughlin and Miss Bright will help them in the final push before an examiner visits us from London on the 23rd and 24th April to assess. This is either the students’ first LAMDA qualification (year 8) or the next level (year 9). Good luck to all those involved, keep working hard towards next week!

As part of their unit 2, year 12 drama students are currently in the process of rehearsing for their scripted performance. Directed by their teacher, these performances last approximately 45 minutes and pieces chosen include ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell, ‘Once a Catholic’ by Mary O’Malley and ‘Pool No Water’ by Mark Ravenhill.  Technical rehearsals will take place on Thursday 30th April, followed by a public performance on Tuesday 5th May and an examiner from Edexcel will formally assess the group on Wednesday 6th May. Meanwhile, our year 10 GCSE drama groups are currently devising and shaping their pieces that will form their first practical examination of the course. All students were provided with the same stimulus, Lily Allen’s song ‘The Fear’, and it has been very interesting to see what they have produced so far.

It’s awards season! Media students who have been busy sharing their work online via the Friesland YouTube channel have been receiving plenty of positive feedback, of which the best examples are to be showcased later in the upcoming Oscars style ceremony with awards for a range of categories. In addition, Media have several year 12 students entering the WJEC exam board film competition, so fingers crossed we get some students shortlisted and perhaps a win?

Upcoming theatre trips this month include the A Level theatre trip to the Curve in Leicester to see ‘Oh What a Lovely War’. This musical by Joan Littlewood has been revived to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One. This highly acclaimed revival is a musical tribute to the men and women who saved our nation over 100 years ago and features some of the greatest songs from the First World War – something for our students to look forward to!

Finally, our lower school production is fast approaching! This ‘soon-to-be-revealed’ show is a fantastic opportunity for Friesland students in years 7, 8 and 9 to get involved in. Mr Cleaver is holding a meeting in the Performing Arts Centre to reveal more exciting news and auditions are planned for the next two weeks. Exciting times ahead!