On Friday 25 March, Year 11 and Sixth Form students from St Helen’s and Abingdon School came together for the annual joint Drama Dinner. Following Upper Sixth students’ scripted performance exams, the night was a celebration of the year’s achievements in drama – Hannah (U6G) writes about the evening’s festivities.
The Drama Dinner was such a lovely way to celebrate our time studying drama at St Helen’s – especially having had our final practical exam in the afternoon previously. The evening began with six performances from my peers which ranged from harrowing tales of love and loss to light-hearted comedies about badgers! I was really proud to watch my friends perform in front of everyone – we’d worked so hard on our monologues, and it was a brilliant showcase and celebration of the wonderful talent we have across our schools.
We then moved into the Atrium, which had been beautifully decorated for the evening! The ceiling was draped with fairy lights, each table was themed to a different production Upper Sixth students had been a part of, there was a photobooth full of balloons and fun props, a screen showcasing some photos of our past productions and even a dance floor with accompanying disco ball. Ms McNally-Cross and Ms Baldock had done a brilliant job with the theming of the evening.
'It was such a brilliant evening, I had so much fun chatting and laughing with everyone at my table. The photobooth created a fantastic edition to the evening, on top of a delicious meal with all my friends.' – Emma, L6D
Having eaten a delicious dinner prepared by our Executive Chef Eamonn and the catering staff, we listened to two speeches: one from drama scholars Alice and Millie looking back on some treasured memories at St Helen’s and another from Abingdon student Ben who recounted some of his more unfortunate roles throughout his drama career at school.
Head of Drama Miss Grandi then treated us to a series of “awards” which highlighted some of our best individual moments. I was honoured to receive the award for “Best Supermaid” – a nickname I’d acquired from my work on My Fair Lady – and “Most time spent lying on the Studio Theatre floor”, stemming from a weekly Monday morning tradition. We then ended the night with some Mamma Mia on the dance floor, with the Upper Sixth making sure to take full advantage of the photo booth!
For me, the Drama Dinner marked the beginning our first “lasts” of St Helen’s. While I may have been a latecomer to what the Drama Department had to offer, the staff at both St Helen’s and Abingdon have been central to every single student’s time in drama.
'The Drama Dinner was such a special night for us all to come together and celebrate our year group’s time in a department which has been so special to us all. Having the chance to perform my A Level scripted monologue alongside five of my friends was a lot of fun – it was so lovely to share the pieces we’ve all been working on for the past few months.' – Alice, U6G
Thank you to Miss Grandi, Mrs Jewitt, Mr McDonnell and Mr Phillips for guiding us through our GCSEs and A Levels, and of course to their excellent directorial work!); to Mr Verjee and Ms McNally-Cross at St Helen’s and the Abingdon Tech crew for making us look good in stage lights and sound nice on microphones; and to Ms Baldock, Mrs Shaman, Mr Taylor and Miss Hutton for their incredible work around school, whether it’s sourcing costume or props or staging productions.
On behalf of Upper Sixth, we are all incredibly thankful for your work, as each and every one of you has made our time studying drama special in some way. It’s upsetting to think that we’re leaving so soon, but (as evident from the speeches) we’ve made some absolutely brilliant memories that we’ll take forward for years to come.
Spotlight on drama