On Thursday 16th June, 2022, Redbridge community hosted an art festival to celebrate the reintroduction of performing arts in the community and school. Due to covid, schools were not able to conduct classes which involved body contact and close gatherings. Therefore, clubs and extracurricular activities were not permitted to continue. The dance and drama classes were also adjusted to follow the rules set in motion in the time of covid to avoid the rapid spread of the virus among students and teachers. But today, we have gathered together to honour the re-establishment of those subjects within our school.
The performances from dance and drama were set in motion from 6:30pm. As the event began, the invited friends and families were already seated awaiting the start of the show. Before the performances commenced, one of the teachers- Mr Harrison conveyed a message about the guidelines that were expected to be
followed during the course of the festivities. Thereafter, the current Head boy of the school gave a speech to show acknowledgement to the guests who attended.
The opening performance was presented by Miss Joyce’s year 10 class. The rendition was displayed to inspire everyone to believe in themselves and that we can all come back from tough times to celebrate with each other. Afterwards, the year 9s carried out a drama scene that was set in a school classroom. It was a comedy act which the audience quite enjoyed. There were a few drama acts put on by the year 9s and 7s as well.
The other year 10s executed their pieces which left the audience absolutely ecstatic. The dance works were intended to communicate positive feelings and thoughts to everyone through the music, lyrics and body language of the students. There were other exciting playlets involving both the year 10s, year 9s and year 8s which were either solos or duos as well as a drama item carried out by the year 7s.
This festival did not only focus on the performing arts but also the visual and written arts as well. Different booths were opened to allow the guests to visit the different aspects of visual arts including a printmaking booth conducted by the art teacher, a painting booth, a photography booth and a textiles booth.
Another stand people quite enjoyed was the creative and essay writing booth. This was managed by a pair of the school’s English teachers.
The school also invited three colleges which specialise in performing arts. These colleges include City college, Brockenhurst college and Barton Peveril Sixth form college. The year 9s and 10s specifically appreciated this because it gave them more insight on colleges they might be interested in for the future. Another organisation that was invited was the Mayflower Performing Theatre. They create diverse productions which the students could be interested in.
There were also a few stalls open to the children for fun activities like face painting, colouring books, etc
Before the entire production began, the crowd was presented with a snack booth for which they could visit and purchase their choice of refreshments.
After the show, a few teachers commented on their experiences of the show and the weeks that built up to it.
‘The hardest thing is getting the students to believe in themselves, so when they are lining up backstage, they’re worried and the nerves kick in. The hardest thing is trying to encourage students to believe in themselves and know that they can do it.’
Miss Joyce (Teacher of Dance)
‘For some of them, it’s the first time that they’ve performed – and we knew that they could do it and then they’ve proven it tonight – they really went for it and were so proud.’
Miss Winner (Head of Dance) and Miss Howard
‘I thought it was absolutely superb. I thought all the performers were very professional and very enthusiastic. It’s one of the best shows we’ve done at Redbridge’.
Miss Bell (Assistant Headteacher)
Mr Harrison (Head of Drama) also talked about the show. He said – ‘It was nice to see everyone up one stage performing which we haven’t been able to do for ages’.
It is also known that Mr Harrison will be departing from the Redbridge community. He spoke a few words about that: ‘Sad, sad. Excited in the sense cause I’m going on a new adventure which is cool but I’ve been here for 10 years and there’s a lot of memories and being here tonight watching you guys performing was amazing, I was super proud and a little bit sad as well’.
That brings the night to an end. The showing came to a close at about 08:00pm. Redbridge is glad to have executed this and in the end, brought successful results. The school would like to thank all those who performed, attended and supported the production. We would also like to thank Mr Harrison for his hard work over and dedication the years to the school and wish him farewell on his new journeys.
By Chioma O, Year 10