Year 6 claim stage as their Kingdom with original production
“Truly the best school production I have ever seen”. That was the verdict of West End and Broadway actress Sarah Quist on the year 6 original production of Kensuke’s Kingdom at which she was the guest of honour on Tuesday 13 June.
Fresh from performing in the sell-out production of Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, Ms Quist was blown away by the young cast’s confident acting, superb musicianship and overall professionalism as an ensemble.
The original show was developed by Mrs Cheryl Mitchell-Morgan from Michael Morpurgo’s best selling book of the same name which the students had studied at the start of year 6. Their real passion for the story was evident in their performance and the elements that they helped to devise.
Excellent acting was complimented with slick choreography, and a raft of original songs specially written by Mr Bruce Welch and performed by the cast and a House Band, along with some cleverly adapted versions of chart hits. These included a compelling version of Rag’n’Bone Man’s huge hit Human, sung in both English and Japanese.
The production also featured clever stage techniques and props such as the use of adapted clear plastic umbrellas, fitted with LED lights, to simulate giant jelly fish in a pivotal scene, and orange hooded jump suits for the troupe of island monkeys.
Mrs Mitchell-Morgan and Mr Welch were ably supported by Mrs Sippett, Senior School drama teacher Mrs Palmer and year 6 parent Mrs Pardue who managed a well organised year 6 back stage team.
Addressing the cast and audience at the end of the show, Ms Quist said: “I thought I would be seeing a typical school production but that was not the case because I am so impressed and excited by what I’ve seen. The work you have done is truly wonderful. If I had been as good as you all are at your age, I would have been extremely happy so you should be very proud of yourselves.”
Miss Boyd echoed these views. “This was the summation of a year of long study and preparation. Not only has lots of hard work gone into this stunning production from the cast but also from all the teachers who have supported them.”
The production also raised funds for the AHOY Centre in Deptford. This is a water sports based charity which gives opportunities to disadvantaged and at-risk youths to help change lives and build life skills through sailing and rowing.