Performing arts round-up

This term’s School Play was Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’, the epitome of farcical comedy. Director Nikki Plowman took on the immense challenge…

Noises Off Play

This term’s School Play was Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’, the epitome of farcical comedy. Director Nikki Plowman took on the immense challenge of a play as equally dependent on props and set as its actors. The result was sheer comic brilliance. Weston Lord’s depiction of the director’s fluctuating emotions was superbly managed, and Maddie Lock performed outstandingly as the eccentric Dotty Otley. Noises Off PlayPoppy was skilfully played by Jemima Stephenson, and Adam Forrester shared the role of Tim with Tom Chesterman: both were applauded for dynamic and comic characterisation. Harry Moore and Bee Hardcastle were unstoppably energetic and understatedly doe-eyed respectively. Jamie Linford’s acting clearly embodied the nature of farce, supported in comic value by the masterly Cameron Scheijde. Honor Meadows provided the voice of reason, which ensured the piece never edged too far into extreme madness. The revolving stage embodied the extraordinary creativity of the production team headed by Mark Jenkins.

HP131014-8435Looking back on the term’s drama, mention should also be made of the achievement of student directors Orlando Taylor and Ellie Smith in Loveday’s Chekhov plays, and of the charismatic performances in both this production and that of South House, ambitiously recreating Shakespeare’s entire works in under an hour, with a cast of 40!

Loveday/South House Plays

AlfoldConcert101014-7382The Michaelmas concerts began with the scholars: a notable debut for pianist Alice Simmonds in Poulenc and very assured Franck sonata from Olivia Chesser, as well as tenor Theo Golden in Bellini. Among the juniors there were exciting debuts from guitarist Louis Jenkin and pianist Reuben Gray, in an especially sensitive reading of a Bridge piece. A magisterial reading, from memory, of a Schubert impromptu by Benjamin Wili was as stunning as his ‘Pie Jesu’ (Fauré Requiem) and other treble solos in Chapel this term. The Fauré was also taken to Frimley and our musicians packed out Alfold Church, as well as playing for the Cranleigh Remembrance Day Parade and for local elderly people.

Ghosts and Shadows-6976In the performance competitions highlights included organist Jakub Bartoshevski’s austere gravitas in Bach’s Fantasia in G minor; double-bassist Harrison White’s memorised rendition of Fauré’s song ‘Après un Rêve’; Tim Ayling in a recorder piece by Walter Bergmann and Fayruz Megdiche with a consummately accomplished rendering of oboe music by Deslandres. In the Concert Series distinguished visitors were joined by Cranleigh’s own music staff (also of international standing): Ruth Williams and Kevin Weaver in celestial French music; Richard Saxel in the Brahms horn trio and Kevin joining Philip Scriven for the Organ Fireworks. The term ended with the usual variety and festivity of the Christmas Concert followed by the choirs’ (Chapel and Chamber) major contributions to the Carol Services.

Christmas Concert Christmas Concert

By Peter Longshaw

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