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Performers set to appear in West End theatre with own dance show

A LONDON theatre awaits a group of Bognor Regis drama students.


The Regis School sixth formers will head to one of the capital venues to showcase a piece they are devising.


Inspired by the theme of ‘home’, they will share it alongside other United Learning schools in April.


They created the dance during a drama workshop with the Frantic Assembly globally renowned theatre company.


A school spokesman said: “Frantic Assembly devise theatre with a principle of never beginning with a set storyline or intention in mind but, instead, performing a series of physical tasks and then adding layers of detail before interpretation and refinement of the material. The work is highly physical, often involving movement, contact work and lifts.”


This work has provided the skills to go with the inspiration for ‘home’.


Year 12 student Jade Brighten, 17, said: “The workshop was really good because we got to work in a way that was very out of our comfort zone and we learnt lots of different and new skills.


“We are really looking forward to going up to London to perform the work we make now, following the workshop.


“The workshop has given us a lot of ideas for further exploration in lessons, following the activities that we did.”


Another of the students involved, Kieran Wake, also aged 17 in Year 12, said: “Doing the workshop opened my eyes to a new way of working and how acting can come in different forms and styles.


“I have enjoyed learning how to perform in this style. It’s very physical and almost like choreography within dance.”


Dancers from the school, in Westloats Lane, have also recently performed at the Alexandra Theatre in Bognor Regis.


The TRS dance company took part in the annual Dance House event to showcase its work. The school spokesman said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to experience dance in a working theatre.


“The standard of dance was fantastic and both our pieces were emotional, thought provoking and technically stunning.”


Jill Hoskins, for Dance House, said: “Lovely to see The Regis (School) back again this year. The standard of dance is raised a little higher each year and I hope that is partly down to students sharing their work with others at Dance House and gaining inspiration and the courage to create new and innovative dance pieces.”


Dance House followed the chance to watch 3 Fall Dance Company of elite dancers at the University of Chichester, including former pupil Jean Luc Coleman, perform the work of new artists and professional choreographers.


Dancers from the school also formed its latest annual entry to the county heat of Rock Challenge.


Held at the Hawth Theatre in Crawley, it resulted in seven awards for excellence. These included lights, stage crew, concept, use of stage and camera operator. Ruby Stead was one of those who prepared the piece, including its set, choreography, costumes, sound score and dramatic skills.


The 15-year-old, of Year 11, said: “It was an incredible experience to be part of, because it enabled me to make new friends and also boosted my self-confidence. I was able to really enjoy performing on a professional stage.”


Holly Porter, 16, also in Year 11, was one of her fellow dancers. “Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and loved being able to work with people from Year 7 to sixth form.


“I got to dance the role of Cleopatra, which was challenging but great to play a strong female role model. Later in the dance, there was a section inspired by Princess Diana, in which I learned about her importance in history.”


At the school, its main hall was transformed into a night club-style venue for the annual sixth form music show. This year’s theme was Route 66 – A journey across America.


Performers from Years 8 to 13 sang songs by American artists like Stevie Wonder and The Eagles. Music teacher Tobi Stathers said: “I love to watch the Year 11s and sixth form but there was something really special about seeing some younger students performing too.”


At the other end of the scale, the school’s Year 10 music group of 13 students performed a recital to a small audience. For some, it was their first time performing for an audience. Head of music Tracey Munford congratulated them for doing so well.

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