Embracing the Spirit of Winter – Prep Boarders’ Play in a Day

Before watching the play itself, read Mrs Suzanne Chinnock’s, Prep Head of English and Drama, description of the whole production in a poem:
‘Twas a snow day at Clayesmore and all around the site,
Not a day pupil was stirring, the grounds cloaked in white . . .

The boarders were eager to see what was planned
Never worry! Never Fear! Mr Browse was on hand!

“What about producing a play in a day?”
This plan was greeted with a hearty hooray. 
Planning took place, along with lots of discussion,
Mrs Coplan was there to assist with percussion.
Presenting . . .
Scene one began with children at play,
It seemed just like any other school day. 
When suddenly eyes were lifted in awe,
As the skies were filled with the promise of snow. 
Actors began moving, bodies emulating snow,
With accompanying music, all self-composed.
Snowflakes scattered and plucked from the sky,
Until the teacher called all of the pupils inside. 
Scene two saw the children gathered indoors,
Some watching a film; some clearly bored.
One child’s eyes strayed to the door,
As the breath of the blizzard began to roar.
Watching twisting limbs and a fast-moving dance,
The audience sat in a trembling trance.
The actors brought the blizzard to life,
As it cut through the air, embodying strife. 
Back to the classroom; was the play all but spent?
Or had the winter spirits more venom to vent?
The spirits were greedy and sought out their prey,
Every child had succumbed, not one got away . . . 

With snow on the ground and the bitter breath of a blizzard in the air, prep boarders used this evocative setting to create ‘The Spirit of Winter’ Play in a Day. From a creative and collaborative morning brainstorming session emerged the plot: a school suddenly overtaken by a blizzard from which came the Winter Spirits. Using a combination of naturalistic theatre and ensemble sequences featuring physical theatre, dance, movement and mime, along with music composed by the pupils forming a haunting backdrop, a powerful drama was born. The piece was generated by the pupils, rehearsed, polished and presented in two dazzling evening performances all in one day.

Watch the play for an illustration of the kind of creative fun that goes on at Clayesmore.