The Good Old Days 1914
Our 2014 Year 8 pupils performed their Leavers’ play with
characteristic aplomb - and were rewarded with thunderous applause - on Friday
20th and Saturday 21st June in Hargreaves Hall. Parents
gathered, many of them in period costume, for pre-theatre drinks on The
Headmaster’s Lawn before being called into supper with typical Gallic
insouciance by our master of ceremonies Tom E. Over a lovely meal cooked by Julie
and her team, diners were entertained by Y8 boys performing Henry Newboult’s
poem ‘Vitae Lampada’. After dinner, Tom led diners through to Hargreaves Hall
which had been transformed into a music hall circa 1914.
The audience was welcomed by Henry L -our Emcee for
the evening - and joined by Peter T. and Tom B playing two crusty old
chaps, Aubrey and Darcy, who commented on the evening’s entertainment. The play
bill involved a number of musical numbers during which the audience was asked
to join in the chorus. These included old favourites ‘Dolly Gray’ sung by Immy
N, ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag’
sung by Sophie J as Vesta Tilley and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ as well as
authentic but less recognisable songs of the period such as ‘ The Army of
Today’s Alright’ sung by Angus E and ‘Jolly Good Luck to the Girl Who
Loves a Soldier’ sung by Emily H. Pupils sang and danced with conviction
and carried the songs brilliantly. The audience joined in with gusto and – as hoped
– ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ brought the house down.
Variety performances were also part of the evening. Mewla M
and Max W were an amusing but incongruous ventriloquist act; Henry T was
magician ‘The Magnificent Mago’ and Mia C his assistant The Gorgeous Gertrude.
The stage was stormed by ‘suffragists’ at one point and there was also a short
drama about what happened to the women who were left behind. Poetry of the
period was represented too: Livi BD read the chilling ‘The Kaiser’s Arrival in
Hell’; a group of boys read ‘Pincer DCM' with James L performing the sentimental
ending to the poem; finally, Lily H read Rupert Brooke’s sonnet ‘The Soldier’
as we all reached for our handkerchiefs.
Y8 pretty much learned and polished their performances
in the week prior to the two performances. Their commitment and hard work in
the week after receiving their excellent CE results speaks volumes for them as
individuals and as an amazing year group.
JC and HH