REACTION House Plays Festival delivers again

16 Aug 2019

Courageous directors, enthusiastic players and appreciative audiences – they all add up to the annual REACTION House Plays Festival which took place this week in the College assembly hall.

This is the chance for drama skills to shine, whether fledgling or experienced, and for each House to work as a team to produce unforgettable memories for themselves and their audience.

Adjudicator Sarah Higginson considered the standard of the top five plays very high, each exhibiting different strengths. She awarded Condell’s House first place with This is a Test directed by Tom Vincent. Second equal were Corfe House for October Offensive directed by Alex McKenzie-Rimmer and School House for The Waiting Game, directed by Caleb Tod who also won Best Director.

The Best Actor awards went to Jamie Yee (Condell’s) and Dominic Edmond (Corfe).

Director of Drama David Chambers says Jacobs, School, Condell’s and Corfe produced “whole plays”, each very different in tone and subject matter.

“Other plays relied almost totally on humour, something which is very difficult to capture, and in the process discovered that school boy humour doesn’t necessarily resonate with a family audience.”

He complimented all the directors whose role was complex and required courage, confidence, a lot of persistence and co-ordination, plus a degree of cajoling, to bring everyone together to a common purpose.

“What the audience doesn’t see are the hours involved in the preparation process – from the selection of the play, which is critical, to the juggling to grab the time to rehearse, among the multi-conflicting calls on the boys’ time.

“Houses which start preparing in Term 2 have a better chance of success. Those Houses that started early definitely did best this time.”

About 160 boys put themselves on the line in REACTION this year, and benefited from the experience, he said.

“Practically every House also benefited from Remy Fitzgerald and Ben Davis who operated sound and light for almost every play. Thanks to all the Drama staff and in particular to new Drama tutor Bradley Fulcher who embraced the concept and really helped the senior boys come to terms with their task.”