PUBLISHED 26 November 2021
Year 11 GCSE Drama Showcase Success! Article written by Alex, Y10
On Monday 23rd November an audience of staff, students and the wider AKS community filled the Drama studio – it was so wonderful to see the space filled once again. The room was full of excitement and energy as Year 11 GCSE Drama students performed their recent devised exam pieces. This was my first experience seeing the standard of performance at AKS and I truly was in shock as the talent on display was extraordinary.
A devised performance begins with a stimulus that inspires storytelling. Each of the four performances from the showcase had a unique and interesting stimulus, including; toxic relationships, the Colin the Caterpillar scandal, falling in and out of love and the Me Too movement.
The acting in each play was detailed and strong and this was perfectly accompanied by a range of engaging theatrical skills including, physical theatre and multi-role.
Here is a little insight into each performance:
The Caterpillar Scandal
This piece starred Alexander, Eleanor, Jasper, and Kimberley. The play featured moments of exaggerated comedy as the performers reviewed the different supermarket caterpillar cakes before a (stage) physical fight broke out between Colin and Cuthbert. This was hysterical and had the audience filling the studio with laughter. These comedic scenes contrasted the final moments of the play in which the performers highlighted a major problem that is happening in the UK today, homelessness. This created contrast and fed into the overall aim of the piece, looking at the impact of capitalism.
Women In The Workplace
This piece stared Eloise, Olivia, Poppy, and Rachel. This play was very powerful and as a female, it had a significant and lasting impact on me. Women In The Workplace looked at women’s rights issues particularly those linking to ambition and careers. The performers skillfully showcased awkward and misogynistic relationships through the clever use of proxemics. They also pared symbolic physical movements with raw and naturalistic verbatim dialogue to help tell the stories of real-life women.
This piece stared Anna, Esmee, Charlotte H, and Charlotte M. This play was another emotional and eye-opening performance, that looked at the impact of toxic relationships. Pupils used levels to suggest power and status as well as shared overlapping dialogue to create chaos. It was powerful and sensitively portrayed the injustice and pain women can feel due to the hands of another very well.
It’s All About Love
This piece starred Charlotte, Katie, Noah & Zara. This play showed how a relationship formed and fractured. The performers were great at using contrasting acting styles to create highly comedic scenes as well as much more naturalistic and heartfelt moments. One of my favourite comedic scenes looked at a partner being introduced to the parents for the first time and feature the very funny line, “your mum is a psycho”. Like the other pieces, It’s All About Love also took on challenging concepts, such as losing a child. This was effectively communicated as a clear connection between mother and baby was shown with moments of joy contrasted with moments of numbness.
All pieces and performers were incredible and totally inspiring. But don’t just take my word for it, check out these audience quotes below.
“Watching the pieces made me excited to take GCSE Drama!”
“They were powerful pieces and massive eye openers – it really did make me realise the power theatre has”
“I was so impressed how such young performers were able to take on such big and serious issues through such a mature approach”