On Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd September, 48 Performing Arts students descended on London for the popular Performing Arts two day residential trip.

Wow, what a trip! The second we arrived in London we were buzzing to walk through vibrant Covent Garden on our way to the first show of the day Frozen the musical. It definitely did not disappoint and even had Mr Stone in tears! We were blown away by the incredible special effects, costumes and amazing vocals from all the cast and loved the well-known songs from the film, as well as original tracks written for the musical. The Theatre Royal Dury Lane is a beautiful theatre and we were fortunate to have great seats in the stalls to enjoy this Disney classic.

This was followed up by dinner at Byron Burger before heading to watch Life of Pi at the Wyndham Theatre. This Olivier award-winning show gripped us with the fast-paced storyline and amazing display of actors using puppetry to portray the animal characters. Once again, the set design, lighting and special effects were mesmerising and watching from up in the Grand Circle meant we were able to appreciate some of the more three-dimensional aspects of the action along with clever projections down on to the stage to create the effect of water.

After the show, we walked over Waterloo Bridge where we got to see the London skyline lit up before heading to the hotel and to bed. In the morning we woke up excited to go to Pineapple
Studios and meet some inspirational dancers from the cast of &Juliet. They taught us extracts of some of the challenging yet eye-catching routines from the musical &Juliet which later we recognised when we watched it. It was really great to learn from artists currently working in the industry and hear about how they got into Performing Arts, their training and best of all to see them perform in the show itself.

After the workshop we had some free time to sightsee around the Covent Garden area and grab some lunch before heading off to watch &Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre. This musical was a particular highlight for us as we were in awe of the outstanding singing and dancing from all the cast, alongside the very clever script that referenced lots of iconic Shakespeare quotes and terminology alongside more topical themes. We also enjoyed the way 90’s pop and hip-hop songs had been selected to enhance the storyline. It made us laugh and is a special memory that we shall never forget, although we were disappointed to hear that Miss Curtis’ former student Tom Francis – who usually plays Romeo – was sick. We would have loved to have seen him perform.

We headed back to the Southbank to Pizza Express for a quick bite to eat before catching our last show of the trip, The Tempest at The Globe theatre. We had Yard tickets, so were able to be
right up close to the stage and sometimes end up in the thick of the action. It was great to watch a show in a building so full of history and in the way that audiences would have watched in Shakespeare’s time. It was also really interesting to see how they worked with unconventional costume and props to convey the storyline; we weren’t expecting to be faced with potentially being
hosed with water, have fast food packaging thrown at us, or see hundreds of rubber ducks strewn across the stage!

We met our coach driver and headed home, all exhausted after an incredible two days! We absolutely love the opportunity to take part in these activities, as we can bring back invaluable experiences, ideas and subject knowledge to our studies. Thank you to the Performing Arts teachers for putting on such an inspirational trip.

Written by Izzie, Kitty, Martha and Jaz, Year 12