Senior Production: ‘Great Expectations’ Cast Assembles
After just two days of the new School Year, the first weekend of the Autumn Term saw a whopping 57 pupils queuing up outside the Miles Studio Theatre at more-or-less first light on a Saturday morning.
What a way to start our preparations for our upcoming production of Great Expectations!
The characteristically Bedian dedication to drama demonstrated by those students is going to be necessary: the curtain goes up on our first performance on Wednesday 16 November, with the set due to be broken down after our gala performance on Saturday 20.
Between then and now our goal is to create a whole world of Victorian intrigue – a universe created and destroyed, like a flower coming into bloom, in a little over 12 weeks.
That first audition saw Bede’s Director of Drama, Mrs Lewis, our Production Manager and Set Designer, Mr Waring, and our costume designer, Glyndebourne’s Eleanor Conlon, working with me to stretch and challenge many old and new faces and slot them into roles which fit them like gloves.
It was great to see so many international students joining us on the day, including young actors from China, France, Germany and America, and I was particular impressed with the great many who had only just arrived in the country – let alone at Bede’s! – but who were ready and willing to take risks, open themselves up to scrutiny and work as a team from the off.
The standard was extremely high with the role of Miss Havisham appearing to be one of the most desired roles amongst the girls. Prefects and Hockey players were able to juggle their morning commitments by coming by for a short slot before returning to their training.
It was a fun morning, and I was really impressed with the way that so many girls and boys were so brave in putting themselves forward and giving the exaggerated acting style a try.
Call-backs followed across the course of last week, and in the end it really did feel like we were splitting hairs. Difficult decisions had to be made, and the cast list we have drawn up is exceptionally strong.
More importantly though, everyone worked extremely well together and were genuinely supportive of one-another, which was especially impressive considering that many had only joined the school a few days previous.
Bede’s being Bede’s, it is also important to remember that there will be several other upcoming productions throughout the year, and many who were unsuccessful this time should definitely return for our next set of try-outs.
Also, and very importantly, Mr Waring’s Theatre Production Activity offers training in lighting, sound, set design, costume design and make-up, and Great Expectations will only succeed if children get stuck-in to learning these crafts.
There is therefore always something to do in the Drama department at Bede's but those who will be particularly busy rehearsing and learning lines in the coming weeks are as follows:
Pip - Earl Cave
Young Pip - Tristan Derry
Mrs Joe - Fleur Reynolds
Magwitch - Rhys Clarke
Joe - Joshua Knight
Lead Chorus/Watchman/Petitioner - Max Mason
Pumblechook/Chorus 1/Bailiff - William Hopkins
Mr Wopsle/Chorus 2/Officer - Tom Harrison
Orlick/Chorus 3 - Luke Noble
Mr Hubble/Chorus 4/Warder - James Baxter
Bentley Drummle/Chorus 5 - Toby Wallace
Mrs Hubble/Chorus 6/Petitioner - Imogen Hooker
Compeyson/Chorus 7/Young Herbert Pocket - Freddie Tuson
Biddy/Chorus 8 - Echo Abraham
Young Estella/Chorus 9 - Meredith Malina-Derben
Miss Havisham - Ruby Moody and Lillie Skerman
Young Miss Havisham/Chorus 10 - Evie Horne
Jaggers - Tom McGovern
Wemmick - Albertine Kotting-Mcmillan
Herbert Pocket - Louis Muston
Startop/Chorus 11 - Jack Iddison
Molly/Chorus 12 - Jessie Davies
Estella - Imogen Lock and Georgia Myers
Sergeant/Chorus 13/Petitioner/Young Magwitch - Archie Reid