For the sixth formers in Hutton House at Pocklington School, this was their last chance to win the House Drama trophy which had evaded them for the past seven years. Gruggen had won twice in a row and had best actor four times in a row.
The stage was set for some fierce competition as each House’s Sixth Form-led team prepared for our annual inter-House Drama competition.
Each house had 20 minutes to dramatise a well-known production, bringing out a theme which this year was Journeys. With minimal teacher guidance and sixth formers as directors, pupils decided between themselves which production to perform and who would take on the various parts and responsibility for costumes, set design and lighting.
All four House teams, made up of pupils from across the year groups, excelled themselves in terms of time and effort as they rehearsed their performances in limited time, ahead of public performances across two consecutive nights.
First on was Gruggen. Emma Hamilton’s colourful production of Alice in Wonderland certainly looked like it would be a winner.
Then Dolman’s take on The Wizard of Oz also looked certain to win. Charlotte Tucker-Lowe invested it with energy, wit and super munchkins.
Next came Wilberforce, with a version of The Princess Bride directed with panache by Livy Aitchison. Another sure-fire winner. It had sword fights, a great boulder-breaking scene and the best giant ever.
Katherine Tilsed had to flex her dramatic muscles and set to work with a spectacular version of James and the Giant Peach if Hutton were to win. And she did it brilliantly. The peach was made of umbrellas, the Aunts were terrifically cruel and funny, but the insects… they were fantastic.
Hutton deserved to win – and win they did. Finally! In the running for Best Actor (now the Sam Hird Award for Best Actor after his record-breaking four wins in succession) were James Harrison (Gruggen: The Mad Hatter), Ben Marson (Hutton: James and only in the 1st year!) Tom Brown (Hutton: Earthworm), Iona Kaye (Dolman: Scarecrow) and Hannah East (Wilberforce: Inigo). James Harrison’s victory ensures the Gruggen run remains unbroken.
The event was a real tribute to leadership, enthusiasm and co-operation across all years, enjoyed by participants, judges Helen, Beth and Natalie Binks, and by packed audiences.
Report by Alan Heaven, Head of Drama.