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March 25th 2019

The Sad Club Sparkles

The Year 10-13 School Play, The Sad Club, was a stunning, fast paced insight to the trials and tribulations of teenage life. Filled with the angst of a 14 year old, interspersed with catchy songs and encasing powerful messages at its core, The Sad Club resonated with its audience: those of us that may have long seen the back of teenage life and so saw humour in self-recognition; those with teenage children who recognised the attitudes and behaviours; or those the age of the characters, who understood and related directly with the issues on show. 

From last year’s whole school production of Beauty and the Beast, this year saw the Drama Department take a much different approach. In the Autumn Term, Year 9 was showcased in the Shakespeare Festival. This term, the spotlight moved to Years 10 to 13, working on a play with National Theatre Connections.

One of the UK’s largest celebrations of youth theatre, National Theatre Connections’ plays are commissioned for and about young people, from some of the best contemporary playwrights, and performed by schools and youth theatre all over the UK and Ireland.   ‘The Sad Club’, written by Luke Barnes, with music by Adam Pleeth, is an honest portrayal of the problems teenagers face - trying to fit in, wishing they were someone else, dealing with parental expectation and much more.

Cobham Hall’s physical ensemble performance sparkled with clarity as the girls seamlessly filled multiple roles. At its core, the play’s heart was in its message of acceptance and understanding; learning to love yourself as you are, to be grateful for the simple things you take for granted that may be denied to others, to remember that appearances – especially those on social media – can be deceptive, and to appreciate everyone has their own troubles.

Director and Drama Teacher Ms Gorman said afterwards, “This was a challenging production because I knew I would like to be ambitious and create an ensemble to support the different story lines, as well as get the students to sing and dance!  Initially this was very strange for the girls and the rehearsals were exhausting – when you’re on Stage the whole time there is no down time! Soon the cast began to relish the energy of the ensemble and they connected so well as a performance group, respectful and supportive of each other.  All performances were incredibly accomplished and they responded so positively to the material as it was so relevant to them.”

If you missed the opportunity to see the production in school, then you are in luck. In 2019, National Theatre Connections is working with over 300 youth theatre and schools to stage ten newly commissioned plays. All the companies will transfer their production to a Connections Partner Theatre – ours is the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury where girls will be joining other local schools & Theatre Companies as they each stage their production in the Marlowe Studio on Friday 10th May, at 6.30pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

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