Interhouse Performing Arts 2022

Posted: 1st December 2022

On Friday 21st October, Burgess Hill Girls Senior School took part in their annual Interhouse Performing Arts Competition. Lower Sixth students Caitlinn D, Sam E and Bella E have reported back on the event.

Every year, house spirit is invoked in the first half-term with the Interhouse Performing Arts Competition, where each house produces a piece of drama including an original script, song, choreography and programme. This year the competition took place on 21st October, the last day before half-term. All students came dressed in house colours (blue for Pankhurst, red for Watson, yellow for Austen and green for Williams), ready to cheer on their houses as they performed.

The stimulus this year was a passage from Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore: ‘And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.’

The opportunity to take part in Performing Arts was open to all students in Years 7 to 13. Not only could people act on stage, but there were also options to help backstage, with art or hair and makeup. This meant that a wide variety of students were able to take part, using their own talents and strengths to contribute to the house effort.

Throughout the first half of term, the school was alive with acting, singing and dancing as each house sought to put together an entire play in a few short weeks. This was a great opportunity for pupils of all years to get to know one another, creating a sense of community as everyone collaborated to create amazing pieces of theatre.

On the penultimate day before Performing Arts, it was time to bring the shows together in a tech rehearsal. Thanks to the incredible work of Emilia G on lighting and Emily M on sound, each house was able to bring their pieces to life using sound effects and varied lighting.

A huge focus of the Performing Arts day is house spirit: supporting your house by being as loud as physically possible. This year, being the first Performing Arts in three years, was super exciting for everyone there, and the day was filled with teaching house chants and explaining to the Year 7s that yes, you really can scream whenever your friend comes onstage; that’s part of the fun!

First performance of the day was Williams, with a creative team of Caitlinn D, Bella E, Maia T and Sophie B. Their piece was a hilarious murder mystery inspired by Mischief Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong, combining slapstick comedy, breaking the fourth wall and references to Squid Game to create something that had the whole audience roaring with laughter.

Next was Austen. Creatives Tilly R, Agnes S and Anna C spearheaded a spin on Romeo and Juliet, replacing Capulets and Montagues with zombies and werewolves. There were romance, drama, fight scenes and excellent costuming (the zombies were all painted bright green), along with a powerful and comedic ballad from the head of Austen house.

Third was Watson, who told the story of love across generations of a family written and directed by Loretta D and Jessica W. This heart warming piece featured incredible, fast-paced choreography and a live performance of ABBA’s ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ which had everyone waving their phone torches.

Finally, after lunch was Pankhurst, with a creative team consisting of Sam E and Adriel W. They took the stimulus of a ‘storm’ literally, with a swashbuckling tale of a pirate shipwreck – the set was a ship made of cardboard, which was destroyed onstage when it crashed. There was a live performance of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’ from Pankhurst’s resident band, a sword fight and an original sea shanty.

All of the performances were a credit to what Burgess Hill Girls are capable of when we work together.

After the final performance of the day (and a whole-school dance break whilst the judges conferred) the prizes were awarded amongst several different categories. There were also performance awards given out to each house for a junior performance (Years 7-9) and a senior performance (Years 10-13). The winners were as follows:

Williams Junior Award – Eve T
Williams Senior Award – Alice H

Austen Junior Award – Phoebe M
Austen Senior Award – Anna R

Watson Junior Award – Lexi B and Rosie G
Watson Senior Award – Martha G

Pankhurst Junior Award – Lydia M
Pankhurst Senior Award – Amy B-W

Best Overall Choreography – Watson
Best Piece of Original Work – Pankhurst (script)
Best Programme – Pankhurst
House Spirit – Austen
Technical Award – Austen (costume)
Best Musical Performance – Pankhurst (band’s performance of ‘The Chain’)

2022 Overall Winners – Williams

Huge congratulations to all of the winners; everyone worked so hard, and the talent and dedication shone in each performance! A massive thank you to Mrs Cassim, Mr Black, and our guest judge, BOLD Girl Beth Gavin from Ariel Company Theatre, who gave their time to watch and judge these performances. Also thank you to Miss Pereira, who provided an exciting and charismatic presentation before and after each performance. Everyone had so much fun – here’s to next year!