The last week of term brings excitement every year, students and staff have worked hard for months and finally the week arrives in which the hard work pays off! Students have finished their final performance of ‘Robin Hood the Pantomime’, and this year we saw the biggest audiences ever! With 117 audience members on Monday and 134 on Tuesday, the pressure was definitely on but the students involved produced a performance they should be very proud of. This year we had 58 students involved in making the production a success, and this included performers, technicians, stagehands and for the first time, a live band! For a smaller school, it is so impressive to have this number of students sign up to be involved; it truly demonstrates the curiosity and zest of our students here at Batley Grammar School.
This year saw the arrival of our new teacher in charge of music, Mr Kirsfelds. From our initial discussion back in July, Mr Kirsfelds seemed enthusiastic to introduce live music into our production, a challenge that was incredibly daunting but certainly lifted the performance to a new level. The addition of live music did involve more work and rehearsal time for all involved, but it was definitely the right decision and we took the creative risk no matter how daunting it initially seemed! Mr Kirsfelds conducted extra rehearsals with his first school band, and spent many hours scoring music and creating the school’s first ‘Sound Cloud’ webpage in order for students to continue to rehearse at home. We would all like to thank him for this innovative approach was greatly appreciated.
One of the most memorable comments from the last night’s performance was the appreciation of casting, with all students shining in their given character roles. This is a huge relief to hear as, year on year, casting these productions becomes more challenging as students gain in confidence and their characterisation ability. Miss Parkes would like to thank every student involved in the production. The high level of energy and excitement on stage was really noticeable and such a delight to see.
There was additional support from a number of staff and students: in the school band, artistic input, technical support, costume development and production. We are also really appreciative of the support from the members of the Parents’ Association both in terms of their fabulous refreshments and their supportive and positive comments about the production. The audiences of family, friends, students and staff were particularly encouraging on the nights, clearly demonstrating their enjoyment and appreciation of this huge team effort. Very well done to all!