The beginning of December saw the return of the inter house event that brings out the students competitive spirits like none other, the House Drama competition.
Every year, Upper Sixth students are tasked with writing and directing a short play for their house to perform in front of an audience of their teachers, parents and peers. The sixth formers put a great amount of effort in to the plays which never fail to impress and entertain. Weeks of script writing, prop buying on a low budget and dragging year 7’s to rehearsals all comes down to one night.
Tuesday night entailed the following performances; BS, I Love You by Bidston house and A Breaktime at Birkenhead School by Shrewsbury house. Bidston were up first, to the displease of the other houses, who felt that the bar had been set extremely high. BS, I Love You told the tale of a prospective family being shown around the school. Young Tommy (played by Samuel Jones) finds the love of his life in student (Millie Southworth), much to the confusion of his parents who had never seen their son make a friend. The stand out performances were made by Lawrence Kehoe who played Tommy’s shady and thuggish father and Tom James who played the unsuspecting tour guide assigned to the family. The boys were awarded for their humorous performances with the “Best double act” award.
Next to take to the stage was Shrewsbury house who performed a series of sketches taking place during a break time at school. The Shrews bravely fought through half an hour of technical difficulties, curtain malfunctions and forgotten lines and even managed to scrounge some laughs. Whether these laughs were at or with the Shrews, we will never know. The most notable comedic performances were made by Archie Finter who played Mr Britton and Jack Hodgson who played Mr Webster and even incorporated his famous motorbike in to the scene. Jack was awarded the “Best Cameo Performance” award for the portrayal. Both Mr Vicars and Mrs Pankhurst congratulated the students and directors (Lawrence Kehoe, Tom Corran and Claire Lawrence) and warmed up the audience for the following night when the next two houses would perform and the winner would be announced.
Wednesday night rolled around and this time it was Kingsmead and Beresfords time to take the stage. Kingsmead was performing an alternative take on Shrek, directed by Mathew Walsh and Beresford were performing IT directed by Max Hatherly.
Kingsmead were up first to deliver a play full of hilarious references, outrageous costumes and of course green makeup. Mathew opened the play dressed as Shrek in a full tracksuit and an impressive scouse accent, and was soon joined by his sidekick Donkey, played by Nick Johnson.
The two characters came from different worlds, (“You wear tweed, and I wear trackies”) yet they came together to form a powerful duo and Donkey helps Shrek to find his one true love Fiona, played by Toby Meisner who can pull off a purple dress surprisingly well and won the award for “Best male dressed as a female”. The play saw many talented performances from a wide range of years.
The last house to take the stage was Bidston who terrified the audience with a portrayal of the well-known horror film IT. The film tells the story of seven children who are terrorized by a clown who entails all of their darkest fears. David Coyne did a fantastic job in bringing out Pennywise the Clowns creepy character and left the audience in shock.
The tension was occasionally broke by a loud dance sequence often lead by Harry Lloyd who was inexplicably wearing an overweight Elvis Costume.
Another notable actor was Oscar Blaney who played the main character Bill and received many laughs for his elongated “Noooooooooo”s.
Every house had given their best performance and the Hall was filled with anticipation as Mr Vicars decided on the individual prizes and the ultimate winning house. After many certificates being handed out it was time for the moment we had all been waiting for. The ranking of the plays. Shrewsbury came in fourth place, however they were still happy to have made it in to the top four. Beresford came third despite a convincing creepy clown, Kingsmead came second despite a fantastic comedic script and first place was awarded to Bidston for their brilliant and original script. The students all look forward to taking the stage again next year, and the teachers are dreading it.
By Mairead Anderson, Lower Sixth Form Student