28th September 2022
On Thursday 22nd September I had the pleasure of taking 10 talented actors from Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 to the annual IAPS Badminton Drama Trophy competition at Braeburn Garden Estate (BGE).
Choosing the final performers to take was an incredibly difficult task. There is a wonderful enthusiasm and culture for drama in our school and quite honestly I could have picked 20 or 30 other performers. Having made the choice we discussed the rules and our tactics for the competition. The message was clear, we wanted to be different and we wanted to be daring. We had a few rehearsals where we worked on coming together as a team and using physical theatre to tell a story. As always, their positivity and eagerness to be creative was a privilege to observe.
On the day, we picked up the trophy and left for BGE. It's rare that we get to celebrate drama as a subject with other schools. Just being around the other pupils and teachers who share our passion was an experience in itself. In total, 9 international schools attended the event. The format of the competition is simple; a random word is picked from a hat and each group must devise a performance based on it. The word this year was ‘Imagine’. Each teacher has 15 minutes with their group to start them off and then they have 1 hour on their own to devise a 4-7 minute piece.
I gathered our group and we discussed ideas. They were interested in exploring a world without imagination. What would that look like? How would people behave? They started acting out a factory scene with automated movements. They then wove in a narrative of a little boy who is trying to remind people how to use their imaginations. An ‘overlord’ or ‘supervisor’ style character played the ‘baddie’ who was trying to control them. I was so impressed with their originality. The hour was over.
After lunch each school was picked out of a hat to decide their order of performance. We were picked 7th out of 9. I was really impressed by the quality of the other schools' devised pieces. From ‘World War’ themed stories to ‘Murder Mystery’ style encouters our actors were absorbed it all. Finally it was our turn to perform.
They were so excited to share their story. As the factory sequence began I looked around at the audience's reactions, they gasped when our actors lifted a member above their head (she represented a girl imagining she was a bird). They laughed at another who imagined a dragon and then got scared by it appearing behind her. All in all it was a daring, dynamic and different performance from all the others. I was extremely proud.
As with any creative art form the interpretation is somewhat subjective. The four judges had excellent pedigree ranging from well respected actors to TV producers. After what seemed like an eternity the decision was announced, “Braeburn School’. The crowd stood and the room erupted with applause.
Well done to Magnus, Mina, Sofia, Ananya, Leila, Lison, Stella, Ela, Salim, Kodjo, Aura and Yuval for representing Braeburn School in a such a positive and creative way.