Chicago... And all that Jazz!

May 2018


The perfomance of Chicago encourgaed the audience to think beyond the lip gloss and glitter.

Year 13 Performing Arts students have finished their course with a bang! In a spectacular performance, they fused together acting with physical theatre to create a new interpretation of the musical Chicago.

They analysed the meaning of the lyrics to create a dark re-working of the West End musical, deconstructing the characters and portraying them through new interpretations.

This exciting style of theatre creates a strong sense of atmosphere, which really challenges the audience to think beyond the lip-gloss and glitter. As performers they challenged themselves too and created a wonderful exam piece full of surprise and attitude. It was a great way to end their Performing Arts studies at King James.

Year 13 A’ Level Drama students used the themes from the classic novel and film, 'One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest' for their exam piece. They explored the idea of gender power, and whilst remaining true to the nature and feel of the novel, they produced a personalised adaptation of the bitter frustration that has been echoed throughout societies over many years. What is normal? Who has the power and control? It was a powerful arena for questions and self-reflection.

The dramatic performance explored how power is tragically abused within the mental health institution which is the setting for the piece, and how the nurses seem to be the manipulators. Patients are subjected to electroshock treatments which leave them docile and unable to think, and it is used as a punishment rather than reasoned treatment.

The cast did not want to simply re-create the original. They felt strongly about producing their own interpretation and the result left the audience considering the notion that mental illness can have an aspect of power.

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