An excellent year for Drama & Performing Arts

July 2024


The stimuli of ‘Morality’ and the work of Wes Anderson influenced the direction of the department's abstract performance and through the stimulus, students explored the complex and wonderful world of Morality and the personal, chaotic, web like narrative it would embody if actualised.

The strange, emotive, stereotyped and dark characters from various works by Wes Anderson were explored and re-invented. From deconstructing these, students created their own abstract world where the cast challenged the audience’s perceptions of theatre and their own interpretations on what that involves. They wanted the audience to think about their own lives and relate to issues such as power, relationships and social status. This was their chosen aim because they felt that they would be able to encourage the audience members to realise negative aspects of their own lives and change them for the better.

This year the department said goodbye to YoYo C, a fantastic student whose passion and talent in Drama and Performing Arts was nothing short of inspiring. She created some of the most innovative and creative performances showing originality and flair for contemporary theatre, and demonstrated faultless commitment to her studies and self-improvement, working with rigor and determination. She is on course to achieve a D* in Performing Arts, a rigorous, challenging subject in which she excels, and also towards an A grade in Drama and Theatre Studies, an academic course which demands both performance and theoretical learning.

During her studies YoYo performed extracts from ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ by Ken Kesey, an absurd devised piece based on control, manipulation and mental health. ‘Like a Virgin’ by Gordon Steel, a coming of age piece dealing with death, relationships and sex, and ‘Revlon Girl’ by Neil Anthony Docking, telling the real-life story of a group of bereaved mothers, eight months after the Aberfan Disaster of 1966.

Miss Howard said, "I witnessed her inspire the young people she worked with, breaking down barriers with energy, enthusiasm and diplomacy. She was a role model for younger students and never demanded attention, quietly looking after the needs of others and always putting herself second. During her Drama studies, issues developed along the way, leaving YoYo the only student in her class. To others, this would be an obstacle but she has taken additional hours to further her study, so that the decisions of others do not affect her progress. This resilience is beautiful and rare and should be celebrated. YoYo is a stunning, one in a million, inspiring, ambassador for King James I Academy and for Bishop Auckland."

This year was the first attempt at a good old-fashioned murder mystery for RTS-Roots Drama Club. ‘La Casa Catastrophe’ was a tongue in cheek, all-out English farce that was a huge success! Over 40 parents, friends and family members came to support the performance and the feedback was fantastic. Although Drama has been running after school for a long time, the current group have been working on skills and confidence to give their inaugural performance that extra touch of class. I am immensely proud of what they have achieved and can’t wait to start putting together our Christmas extravaganza. RTS runs on a Monday night 3.30pm-5.00pm. Auditions for new members will run in the Autumn term.