The May Hall had a full house for both performances with audiences brimming with anticipation and excitement as they waited to be transported to Willy Wonka’s factory in a technicolour sugar rush of a show. Commencing with the clever use of narrators in the form of journalists, who introduced the broad cast that ranged in ages from across the school and brought together Drama Scholars with subject enthusiasts.
Translating the key scenes from the film to a stage production saw very creative approaches. The audience joined the cast on the psychedelic boat ride down the Chocolate River thanks to the use of projections and props conveying a very realistic feeling of movement. Later on, the well-loved scene from the Nut Room where the Salt family are labelled as ‘bad nuts’ was acted out using shadow puppetry for a highly comical effect.
From Oompa Loompas speaking in rhymes during dance routines which were choreographed by a Year 11 pupil to the whole cast fantastically stepping into the shoes of their characters and adopting new accents and body language, it was certainly a show to remember.
Creating the magic
At Trent, we recognise that centre stage isn’t for everyone which is why there are also offstage opportunities to participate in and be part of the team. These roles are crucial in bringing the show together.
Re-creating the renowned scenes of a flying glass elevator and turning a character into a blueberry live on stage were just two of the challenges set to the 15-pupil strong technical team and crew who worked alongside Mr Grantham, Trent’s Drama Technician. Having worked across the industry, Mr Grantham has a vast amount of specialist knowledge to share with budding crew members covering; staging, lighting, sound & set and costume design.
“The script of the performance – adapted from the novel in 1975 required an enormous amount of talent to take on the variety of characters which feature in this beloved tale of magic and chocolate” explains Mrs Day, Acting Director of Drama. “We were utterly wowed throughout the audition process and working with the broad cast of students from across the year groups has been nothing short of delightful.”
Enhancing employment-ready skills
Studying drama transmits skills far beyond the stage. Developing creativity enables the ability to view the world through a different lens. Taking on the role of poverty–stricken Charlie Bucket or the ever-demanding character of Veruca Salt enabled pupils to develop critical thinking skills as they explore new values and show empathy for the situations of others.