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Year 7 Put on a Spooktacular Show!

Year 7 Put on a Spooktacular Show!
Drama Senior School

Enter at your peril! The Wroughton Theatre has become a haunted house of horrors in this year’s spooktacular Year 7 show, with plenty of jump scares, spine-tingling storytelling and whole load of fright-size fun! But only for the brave!

It didn’t bode well when I entered the theatre to find it draped in cobwebs. The once splendid stage now looked derelict, adorned with police cordons and warning signs saying ‘Keep out’ daubed in what looked suspiciously like blood! Dissonant music swept across the proscenium and a cold chill emanated from somewhere in the wings. Oh, and there was a ghost sitting on the stage, reading a book. A little ghost resembling Wednesday Adams who proceeded to attempt ghostly deportment lessons in front of our very eyes. What had I let myself in for?

The little ghost (Catherine Mattingly) was, it turned out, a pyromaniac poltergeist with a penchant for burning books. Oh, and also teachers – but only the horrible ones (the writer of this review vowed immediately to give out more achievement awards!) Meanwhile an intrepid team of thespian ghost-hunters (Malini Hall, Phoebe Whittock and Edith Holliday) lead by the spook-sceptic Blythe Jellis and paranormal paranoid Evie Wright Cain, enacted the ghoulish tale of the long-lost ghost’s demise – with comedy interjections from the much affronted ghoul! Creepy comedy brilliance!

Next up a tale of horrible haunting. Hector Wells is your own personal rent-a-ghost, tormenting the long-suffering, long- haunted Wilkie Bobin. Only this is a special deal, a ‘two for the price of one’ possession, a ghost with multiple personality disorder. Yes, somehow the restless spirits of not one but two sports pundits from the 1980s have inhabited the body of one small ghost – and Hector hilariously enacts both sides of the commentary box. But Tacita Burton has problems of her own – with a much smellier spectre on her case. Think an evening with Gary Lineker (and Des Lynam, or Jimmy Hill, perhaps!) with a funny phantasmic twist!

Tale three was like Waiting for Godot – with ghosts! A spooky waiting room between worlds turns out to be a bit of a dead end where two coolly cynical undead (Lucy Gamble and Minnie Peregrine Jones) have been waiting an eternity for …. Well, we’re not quite sure what. Enter a very confused Em Blackburn who has a feeling she’s forgotten … something! Has she perhaps forgotten that she’s … oh, super dead! Pinteresque and poignant but utterly gripping!

Now it was time for a spooky sleepover with Scooby-Doo style jump scares and a most ‘alarming’ ending! Reggie Morley is a ghostbuster with a golf-club and he’s not afraid to use it. Harry Williams is his scaredy cat little bro, and Freddie Edwards/ Alex Hourston play the sensible elder sibling. But when girlfriend Scarlett Winstanley turns up they are all in for a shock – is she a girl? is she a ghost? is she out to get them? With synchronised screams and comedy capers, this is more than ‘just a ghost story’!

The ’Mizmaze’ gave this reviewer the heebie-jeebies. Based on a true story (allegedly!) set in a certain famous boarding school (allegedly!) this is a tale of a school punishment with a haunting twist. The TV presenter (Ruby Taylor) reports on a deadly detention that makes KES sanctions look positively saintly. Cut to a scene of two hikers (Fern Powell and Amelie Delatour) who find themselves lost in the mist where they stumble across the manifestation of a long-dead ‘maze-digger’ ( the eerily uncanny Poppy Scotland) The tale that unfolds will leave tingles down your spine…

Things get even spookier in the next vignette which sees four teens on a spectral stake-out which turns into a sequel to the Scream! franchise. The lads are hanging out in an abandoned warehouse just for the LOLs. Wilf Wells is the louche lothario of the gang; Emily Cheung is the alpha; and Sakura Salmon is the teenage dirtbag; whilst poor Fredrik Mackie is a quivering wreck, nerves jangling with every flicker of the lights, every strange rattle and gurgle, every spooky footstep. Because everyone knows that in every scary movie, there’s always that one kid who has to go out first … the weakling who gets picked off before the others. Oops… what happened to Fredrik?

Anyone who has watched the TV series Ghosts will love the next tale of two friendly ghouls (Eloise Andrew and Lily Morgan) whose happy home is invaded by paranormal investigators (Aaliyah Scott-Kelly and Georgie Evans) out to prove ‘there’s no such thing as ghosts!’ Our chiaroscuro spirits are at first alarmed by the glorious technicolour humans but quickly set out to make mischief for the supernatural sleuths, with hilarious results!

At first there seemed nothing eerie about the next tale. Two posh school boys (Rory Shaw and Alex Jones) sat discussing the spiffing time they’d had in the holidays, swapping tales of cousins and ski hols in Verbier. Enter the new boy (Cosmo Platts) a shy nervous type whose daddy happens to own a Maserati. But king pin Giles (William Lusty) doesn’t take kindly to newcomers. Only there’s something a little uncanny about this particular new kid on the block. A creepy tale with a tragic twist that will send a shiver down your spine!

A ghost is for life (or death?) not just for Halloween! That’s what the paranormal pair played by Bea Hume Smith and Ava Gilmartin reckon, anyway. But Apphia Barker is not convinced. She wants to be a different kind of spirit altogether – a Christmas spirit! More specifically a Christmas Elf. Luckily a particularly terrible teenage trumpeter (Amelie Sutton) might have a solution and soon Apphia’s ‘Application for Elf Studies’ has been processed. Will Ferrell would love this tale of a friendly ghost on a Christmas mission! And so did I!

‘No spirits allowed’ declares the bouncer at this year’s school prom (the no- nonsense Evan Stuart) But James Everard is a footloose phantom on a mission to show off his Strictly Supernatural skills! Only he doesn’t seem to realise he’s been deceased for over a century! Amelie Thorburn is a mystic-meg, determined to help him cross over to the other side. ‘Was my dancing that bad?’ demands the supernatural twinkle-toes. Will he waltz his way over to the afterlife, or will he be ‘limbo dancing’ for yet another year? Poignant and hilarious in equal measure.

A ghostly missive lies at the heart of the penultimate paranormal tale. A family mystery, a makeshift Ouija board, a granny trying to send a message from beyond the grave. Eloise Bruce Payne is determined to communicate with her bottle smashing ghostly granny. But her friend Felicity Hobbes is freaked out by the spectral scribbler. What does ghoulish gran have to say? A tale full of suspense with an otherworldly twist.

The final scene was one of paranormal pathos. A stroppy teenager (played with hilarious realism by Sienna Hoornick) gets home from a night on the town to find Mum (a devastatingly distraught Beau Bruce) waiting up for her. But why can’t Mum be bothered to make her a cup of tea? Or a bacon sandwich? Or even answer the phone? What starts as teenage tantrum take a terrible twist as both young actresses provide powerful, poignant performances to end the show.

As the cast and crew of over forty-five wraithlike figures floated onto the stage for the final curtain call, it was clear that this was a production that embraced the inclusive ethos of the KES Drama department. What an incredible piece of theatre, directed with brilliance and energy by the indefatigable Director Miss Williams, ably assisted by the wonderful Assistant Director Mary Dunsby and marvellous mini-director Millie McFarlan, which allowed such a colossal cast of creepy characters to showcase their spine-tingling talents.

Once again our KES tech maestros James and Mark Sellick - ably assisted by Tech Club members Grace Fieldhouse, Lottie Morris and Avishka Gunatilake, outdid themselves, transforming the theatre into a spooky house of horrors. And final mention must go to the spooky soundtrack, created by Music Tech Club members from Year 7 – 11, under the inspirational leadership of Mr Riordan. From synth soundscapes to piano trios, the music was sometimes comedy cartoon horror, sometimes darkly Gothic, sometimes darkly bone-chilling – but always supernaturally sensational. A spooky score for a sinisterly spook-tacular production that was ghoulisthly good fun! Although I can’t promise you won’t have nightmares!


Review by Mrs Bruton, English and Drama Teacher.


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Year 7 Put on a Spooktacular Show!