Peach of a Play

06 April 2017

The Upper School children performed James and the Giant Peach to over 300 people on two evening performances in March.
The evening started in the departure lounge of Peach Airways, a very upmarket outfit, complete with attentive cabin crew and a relaxing pre-flight tincture.

The flight director Mrs Thomson, Head of English and Director of Studies, was fortunate to work with such an enthusiastic and talented company, led by James (Henry M aged 11), orphaned by a ravenous rhino and raised by his hideous and exploitative aunts, Sponge (Charlotte G aged 10) and Spiker (Siobhan aged 11).

James and giant peach
The story, as you might guess, revolves, literally, around a giant peach and charts its journey from the cliffs of Dover to New York City. The peach has a number of residents or passengers; a burly American centipede (Harry O aged 13), a cultured and eloquent grasshopper (Marley M aged 13), a loquacious earthworm (Orlando A aged 13), a chanteuse spider (Fenella R aged 11), who dueted with a Ladybird (Imogen S aged 11) and providing the illumination for all this, a glow-worm (Elise I aged 11).


The journey is a perilous one, the peach being attacked by sharks, ravaged by seagulls and partially consumed by its chorally talented castaways. The day is saved by the acquisition of a compass, retrieved from a dancing Octopus (Laurie S aged 13) in a fluorescent night club at the bottom of the ocean, complete with gyrating jellyfish and finally brought to New York City by 100 seagulls. At some point a New Zealand airways plane, complete with a Hakaing crew make an appearance, before all is well in the world and James and his giant peach are once again the centre of attention.
Julie Thomson, who directed the show, commented that “The children delivered an outstanding performance, managing to revise and sit for their senior school entrance and scholarship exams, as well as rehearsing for the production.  There were some incredible solo performances, and the West End undoubtedly beckons for some, but the best thing about this show was the whole team working together so well and the sheer fun we had. Roald Dahl famously wrote in Matilda “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.” and I hope he’d agree we did!”

 

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