Last term the Senior Drama performers took to the stage with a wonderful production of Greek Theatre Tragedy, Antigone, and once again, Seaford College students demonstrated that they are capable of performing very challenging plays from a range of genres and historical periods.
The YSC combines clear, accessible and well-paced acting with challenging yet inclusive workshop activities. The emphasis throughout is on the importance of choice and interpretation in the process of putting on a play. Continue reading
Seaford held four performances of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, kicking off with an open dress rehearsal and then 3 nights of performances.
The show was fun and energetic throughout, with fantastic turns from the principals and the supporting cast. Sara Reynolds, Director of Performing Arts at Seaford, was thrilled with how the show went.
“I couldn’t be more proud. The work ethic was incredible from the students and the staff that were involved and the outcome was more than I could have hoped for. It is an enormous task taking on a show like the Pirates of Penzance, with a cast of over sixty students and a back stage team and everybody put in a huge amount of work. It was a great learning curve for everyone involved and I think we entertained our audiences which is what we set out to do.”
Two of Seaford’s Senior students, Zachary McArthur and Yolanda Gumpo, spoke to us about taking part in the show. “I was so proud to be part of the production,” said Zachary. “I was delighted to get the role of Major General Stanley because it was a fun part to play and enabled me to expand my acting skills in front of an audience. We got an amazing reaction from the audiences and that was wonderful after all the hard work that had gone into the production.”
Yolanda found it a great experience. “The cast ranged from Year 7’s to Year 13’s and it was great to work with students from across the school. As one of the senior cast members I enjoyed working with the younger students and helping them backstage and it was a real team effort.”
“It was an amazing performance last night – so energetic and funny. Well done. We also loved the seaside nibbles in the candy stripe bags” was one comment on Seaford’s Facebook page.
We can’t wait for the next big Seaford production!
This swashbuckling adventure Continue reading
To make your professional debut in any walk of life is always a special moment but to do it while you are still at school Continue reading
The Final took place Continue reading
Years you attended Seaford: 1997-2004.
Position of responsibility held, if any? Prefect.
What do you do for a living now? I run my own business, Lloyd-Coombes Ceramics – Animal Sculpture. The main part of my business is selling my sculptures but I also teach short courses, hold demo days and talks, provide work to galleries and take on personalised commissions.
Have you always done this? Yes. I went to Loughborough University to study ceramics and set up my business full-time straight after graduating.
What are your happiest memories from your time at Seaford? Being a boarder and the family atmosphere that is formed within the boarding house between friends and staff. When you leave you make many friends, at university and work, but they never know you as well as those you have lived with and grown up with.
What do you feel were the greatest benefits of attending Seaford? The opportunity to board. You are treated as an individual and encouraged to be an individual; taught to follow the expectations you set for yourself, not ones that are put upon you by others.
Are you still in touch with many other alumni? Yes.
When was the last time you were back at the school? In June to teach a workshop. Prior to that, I’d been back a few years earlier to show my husband where I grew up.
How did you come to be involved in your line of work? Through Seaford teaching ceramics as a GCSE.
What are your plans for the future? To relocate the business to the Brecon Beacons, where it will have space to grow. We will be building accommodation for my courses and developing a hands-on area with the animals to teach and inspire the students.
What advice do you have for current Seaford pupils? To the girls: enjoy! You will probably only live in a mansion once in your life.
For more information about Felicity’s work, please visit http://www.lloydcoombesceramics.co.uk
Seaford College alumnus Felicity Lloyd-Coombes visited the school’s art department last Friday for a ceramic workshop. Felicity is now a professional ceramic artist and spent a productive day with our Year 10/12 3D Design pupils.
“Felicity shared her passion for ceramics with GCSE students as she demonstrated her sculptural skills and techniques,” said 3D Design teacher Miss Wiggin, who organised the session. “Felicity works with a unique hand-building method using paper clay over a chicken wire frame. Each pupil successfully sculpted a 3D clay hare, which they were all very proud of. It was wonderful to see the different personalities of the hare sculptures develop over the course of the day.”
The pupils based their work on one of Felicity’s reclining hares and followed a step-by-step demonstration. She assisted each of them individually as they worked, using pliers to manipulate the wire and wooden skewers to support the long ears as they dried. Paper clay is a mixture of clay and paper pulp that creates a wonderful texture and is surprisingly light when fired.
The pupils then cut back into their hare sculptures to make the slits for the eyes with scissors, with some of them feeling apprehensive as they didn’t want to ruin their pieces. The work will take at least four weeks to dry out before it is fired. Students will then use glaze and oxide to decorate their pieces.
Felicity defines the structure of muscles and bones in her work accurately, although pupils were encouraged to exaggerate the feet and ears of their hare, and she spends a lot of time observing British animals at first-hand.
She recognised some of her old teachers around the school, where she used to be a boarder, and enjoyed looking around the school site and seeing all of the changes that have occurred since her time studying here.
“Felicity made it look very easy!” said Miss Wiggin. “She was very encouraging and positive in her approach, and the pupils were very proud of their work and asked to take their hares home on the day! All the students achieved an excellent result that will count towards their 3D Design coursework.”
For more information about Felicity’s work, please visit http://www.lloydcoombesceramics.co.uk
In May, Seaford College Prep School gave a rousing performance of Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. For two nights the College assembly hall resounded with the show’s hit songs, such as Tomorrow, It’s the Hard Knock Life and You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile. The young cast did a great job of bringing to life this heartwarming story of orphan Annie and her eventual adoption by ‘Daddy’ Warbucks, based on the 1930s American cartoon strip by Harold Gray.
Charlotte Cragg was outstanding in the title role, finding just the right balance of pathos and humour as well as beautifully performing some of the show’s most famous songs. The other orphans were played by Lauren Goldsmith, Ellie Clarke, Nia Burkinshaw, Amy Styles, Saskia Hodder and Erin Harte, all of whom really brought the stage to life with their song and dance numbers.
Sam Brown made his debut Seaford performance as Oliver Warbucks, the busy industrialist who opens his home and heart to little orphan Annie. For such a young performer he captured the role with great sensitivity, creating some lovely poignant moments in his duets with Charlotte.
The dastardly Rooster Hannigan and Lily St Regis were played to great effect by Nick Easton and Tilly Woodford, with Lottie Hubbard excelling as the more saintly Grace Farrell. The gloriously wicked Miss Hannigan was given a most accomplished performance by Cameron Cragg, who fully exploited the comedic potential of the role throughout the show.
These were all supported by an excellent ensemble cast including Henry Grantham-Smith, Lee Soar, Adam Horstman, Archie Fletcher, Jonny Green, Lewis Reeks, Charlotte Cassar, Helena Mitchinson, Maddie Chandler, Imi Guimaraens, Ned Price, Joe Harrison, Patch Joynson, Rafe Nisbet, Elliot Emslie, Lucy Jackson and Rubee Bracewell; and stage-hands Harry McMorran, Archie Sleeman, Christian Gillingham, Harry Thompson and Eddie Cooper.
Director Dr Jane Askew said: “The show was a lot of fun to work on. The children were very committed to learning their songs and their lines, and seemed to really enjoy learning the dance routines with me as well. We had lots of warm and congratulatory feedback from the audiences, so the cast can be very proud of their achievements.”
The Jazz Night will take place on Friday 24 June at 7.30pm in the school’s dining room and will feature performances from the Seaford Jazz Band and other artists. The evening will also include a welcome cocktail (‘The Dizzy Gillespie’) and a dinner featuring a course of cheese and port. Tickets are £25/£20 and are available from email@example.com
This year Seaford College Prep School is proud to present as its annual production the musical Annie. This will take place in the College’s main Assembly Hall on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May at 7pm. Pre-show refreshments will be available in the Hollington Centre from 6.30pm.
Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the Alvin Theatre. It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The songs Tomorrow, It’s the Hard Knock Life and You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile are among its most popular musical numbers.
We always have a fantastic audience for the Prep School shows, and again look forward to welcoming parents, grandparents, friends and teachers for what will be a great evening of entertainment.
The Young Shakespeare Company came into Seaford College yesterday to run a workshop with all our Year 9 students on Macbeth, this term’s set text. The students were treated to an interactive workshop plus a performance of the play that involved some of the pupils taking on roles. The afternoon was a great celebration of performance and literature, especially apt given the fact it took place on the 400th anniversary of the passing of The Bard.
Story teller Paul Jackson recently visited Seaford College to conduct a series of workshops and talks over the course of two days, including some atmospheric sessions beside a campfire in Seaford’s forest school.
“He was absolutely captivating. He held the attention of a number of different groups and each story was different,” said modern languages teacher Clive Thorpe, who organised the visit. “He very quickly picked up on the mood of each particular group and setting.
“He was very personable and engaged with each student, from Year 6 pupils to Year 13 students who are preparing for exams. He has a real gift for explaining how to tell stories and employ dramatic effect. As each session finished, you always felt they could have gone on for longer – no one was fed up.”
Mr Thorpe first became aware of Paul when he saw him on the BBC show Countryfile and plans to bring him back to Seaford next year.
Seaford College audiences were treated to an outstanding evening of musical entertainment by senior students last weekend. The Broadway Buffet offered a selection of highlights from some of the most popular musicals of all time, including Cabaret, Oliver!, The Phantom of the Opera and The Blues Brothers, as well as medleys of works by Gilbert & Sullivan and Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Following a string of highly successful musical productions over the past few years, this evening was intended as an opportunity for students to showcase their talents across a range of musical genres. The singing ensemble, largely comprised of members of the Chapel Choir, was led by Director of Voice Sara Reynolds, and the accompanying band by Head of Music Jeremy Weaver. A supper was served by our excellent catering department, with courses corresponding to each musical section.
First on the menu were three songs from the hit Broadway show Cabaret. Adam Newman set the tone for an evening of fun and entertainment with his flamboyant performance as the MC, backed by the all-singing, all-dancing cabaret girls Alexandria White, Araminta Johannes, Andrea Aranda, Abbey Caveney and Anastasia Emile. Alexandria gave a powerful and compelling rendition of Maybe This Time, which was followed by the show’s iconic song Cabaret, with an upbeat and sassy performance by the girls. Next came songs from Lionel Bart’s Oliver!, with ensemble performances of Food Glorious Food and Who Will Buy? and Alfie Whitchurch’s lovely solo rendition of Where is Love?.
After this we were transported to the Paris Opéra Populaire of 1905 for five songs from The Phantom of the Opera. Beci Eden as Christine Daaé stunned the audience with her accomplished soprano voice, singing Think of Me and The Phantom of the Opera, with Robbie Steward as the Phantom. Next there was a change of cast, with Zach McArthur playing the Phantom for The Music of the Night, and Robbie returning as Raoul accompanied by Ellie Baker as Christine for the wonderfully romantic All I Ask of You and hauntingly beautiful Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.
A feast of Gilbert & Sullivan came next, as girls from the Chapel Choir performed highlights from The Mikado, with beautifully evocative solos from Jaime Pardey, Nell Chadwick, Daisy Hanbury and Eva Glynne-Jones. Then suddenly the Assembly Hall doors burst open and we were beset by cutlass-wielding pirates led by Tom Holder as the Pirate King, and treated to a spirited presentation of highlights from The Pirates of Penzance. In a complete change of style and location, the evening then moved to Illinois for Seaford’s version of The Blues Brothers Band. Led by Mark Reynolds, the student band (Munroe Graham, Annabel Jeffries, George Limpus, Sebastian Limpus, Jonathan North, Danny Westcott) supported great solo vocal performances from Yolanda Gumpo, Robbie Steward, Tom Holder and Ross Donaldson.
The climax of the show brought us an energetic medley of Rodgers & Hammerstein hits, with Hannah Wardrop leading the ensemble onto the stage in a pastiche of the famous opening sequence from The Sound of Music and Yolanda Gumpo singing the closing number, a soulful version of You’ll Never Walk Alone. By popular demand, the ensemble provided us with a magnificent encore, Do You Hear the People Sing? from Schönberg & Boublil’s Les Miserables, which was met by a standing ovation from the audience on both evenings.
Dr Jane Askew, co-director of the show, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the students involved in the show. There were some very accomplished performances and the audience received a taste of the tremendous talent we have at Seaford College, as well as enjoying a great night out!”
Just before half-term, Seaford College GCSE Drama and A Level Theatre Studies students visited the award-winning National Theatre production of War Horse at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane, London. Sadly the show closes at the end of the month, so this was a great opportunity to see what has become an iconic piece of British theatre during its run over the past nine years.
At the heart of the show are the fabulous horses created by Handspring Puppet Company and brought to life so magically by their puppeteers. The show is a theatrical adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel about a boy and his horse, who become separated due to the First World War. In following the horse’s story we see the horrors of war for both British and German soldiers and the civilian characters caught up in its relentless path.
“The students were particularly struck by the great attention to detail in all aspects of the production,” said Dr Jane Askew, Head of Drama. “The puppeteers are incredibly skilful and meticulous in the way they bring the horses to life and the open stage is reconfigured into a whole variety of settings including a Devonshire farm, a troop ship undertaking an ocean crossing, and a Somme battlefield, with the aid of atmospheric lighting, sound, projections and simple but hugely effective staging techniques.
“AS and GCSE students will have a lot to write about this production in their forthcoming examinations, so all in all it was a highly successful and productive theatre visit.”
Seaford College is hosting a new cabaret night next week, featuring songs from the musicals, including Jaime Pardey performing numbers from The Mikado. Upper sixth pupil Jaime, pictured, dedicates her time to each of our shows and seems to have a magical ability to transform herself into any role we throw at her.
Sara Reynolds, Seaford’s head of voice and choirs, said: “The cabaret nights will be fast paced and highly entertaining. This is a new style for Seaford students to tackle and they are rising to the occasion with their usual flair and enthusiasm.”
The cabaret night is open to the general public – for bookings please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Seaford College Chapel Choir has been invited back for an encore with Jonathan Antoine at his London concert on 19 January. Labelled the ‘Teenage Pavarotti’ by the press, Jonathan rose to fame when he and former singing partner Charlotte Jaconelli came second in the finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012. They went on to sign a record deal with Simon Cowell and release two hugely successful Top 5 albums.
The Chapel Choir sang to great acclaim with Jonathan at his Eastbourne concert in November, at which they also gave solo performances before joining Jonathan again for the encore, which was met with a standing ovation. Jonathan was so impressed with the standard of their singing that he congratulated the Choir while on stage, before adding that he hoped “to sing with Seaford again in the future”.
Tracy Antoine, Jonathan’s manager, said: “The choir performed beautifully, as we knew they would, but it was very special for Jonathan to have them there on a personal level – feeling secure in the knowledge they would be excellent but lovely too! I think Sara did a pretty good job teaching him, as I’m sure you’d agree!”
Sara Reynolds, Head of Voice & Choirs at Seaford College, taught Jonathan at the Junior Royal Academy from the age of 15. Jonathan clearly enjoyed learning with Sara and praised her on stage at the concert, proudly saying: “Sara was my vocal teacher at the Junior Royal Academy in the primary stages of building my voice to what it is now so if anyone here is to blame, it’s Sara!”
Links to videos from the performance at Eastbourne
Congratulations to Theo Burley – the Seaford College Year 10 student has won a national robot-building competition contested by pupils from more than 500 UK schools. He entered the competition via the College during the autumn term and was informed about his victory by the organisers during the Christmas holidays.
”We are very proud of him. It was a great end to the year,” said his mother, Esther. “It has also inspired more creativity and lots of positivity for everyone in the New Year!”
The competition was organised by GlueGunsDirect.com and judged by professional artist Mark Haig from Gizmobots, who particularly liked Theo’s use of recycled materials, which he collected from West Wittering beach and then stuck together using a glue gun. The first prize was £300, £50 of which Theo has donated to a cancer charity.
“It is fantastic news that Theo recently won first place in a national art competition,” said Hazel Wiggin, Theo’s 3D Design teacher. “He was set the robot-building task as GCSE half-term homework. He was very resourceful and went beach combing to collect his materials.
“His design is inventive and skilfully constructed. He also thought about the environmental implications of his robot by recycling old plastic and should be congratulated for this superb achievement.”
Niamh, whose acting career includes film, television and theatre work with the RSC and the National Theatre, and who will shortly be appearing in The Winter’s Tale at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre in London, worked with the students on developing their vocal delivery of Shakespeare text.
The workshop was quite intense, with the students exploring a variety of physical techniques designed to help them feel and understand the way Shakespeare uses iambic pentameter to evoke meaning and character relationships.
Niamh said she felt the pupils were all very brave and had made discernible progress throughout the two-hour session. Dr Jane Askew, Head of Drama, added: “I was really proud of the students involved. They were all focused and committed throughout the masterclass, and will certainly have benefited from the whole experience.”
Last week, students of Seaford College presented a powerful and challenging production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The cast made up of students between the ages of 14 and 18 gave a confident and witty presentation of the play, with standout performances from Fergus Segrove (Year 10) in the title role, Beci Eden (Year 13) as presenter of the ‘gangster show to end all gangster shows’, and Eva Ruseva (Year 13) as Betty Dullfoot.
The play is a clever parody of Hitler’s rise to power set in 1930s Chicago gangland. The production design by Jamie Klückers evoked the dark atmosphere of the era, from speakeasy to backstreet garage massacre to courtroom drama. The final scene created a chilling image reminiscent of the Nazi rallies familiar to us from newsreel footage.
The director, Dr Jane Askew, said: “All of the cast are to be commended for their engaging and strong performances, but Fergus in the role of Arturo Ui was outstanding. He created a synthesis between the character of a 1930s American mobster and a carefully studied observation of Hitler that was remarkable for a boy of his age.
“There have been several messages from audience members praising the cast for their handling of such a thought-provoking play.”
Chicago in the 1930s: the Great Depression. A time of unemployment, fear and corruption – and the perfect time for a small-fry crime boss and his henchmen to make it big, to seize a greater power: an absolute power. Arturo Ui and his mob of gangsters run protection rackets for both workers and businesses. Soon Ui’s menacing shadow looms large, from the markets to the docks and across the city itself. You might be with him, you might be against him – it certainly seems that no one’s prepared to stop him.
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is Brecht’s funny, sharp and thrilling take on the rise of Hitler in Germany in the early 1930s, but cleverly transposed into the world of Chicago’s gangland during the same period. Using a translation by George Tabori, Seaford College is presenting this challenging and thought provoking play on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th and Saturday 28th November in the Assembly Hall. A pre-theatre dinner will be available on Friday 27th, enabling audience members to enjoy a relaxed two-course meal with wine in the College’s beautiful surroundings before the show commences. Tickets for the show will cost £5, or £10 including dinner. Enquiries and bookings can be made via: email@example.com
The play’s director, Dr Jane Askew, said: “After three Renaissance plays we decided to tackle something more modern, but equally challenging in style and artistic potential. There is quite a broad range of experience within the cast and many have not come across Brecht’s work before. I am particularly impressed with Fergus Segrove who, despite being one of the youngest members of the cast, is playing the leading role with great energy and insight.”
On the warmest day of the year, crowds gathered on the terraces behind Mansion for a joyful, and as one audience member termed it, ‘europhic’ evening of rock and pop music.
The audience was treated to a range of different songs and styles, featuring everything from Jonny Cash’s Fulsome Prison Blues, expertly sung by Sixth Former Keaton Smout, to the soaring David Guetta club anthem Titanium, sung by Isa Johnstone, which set spines tingling.
Highlights included the Prep School Choir’s rendition of S Club 7’s hit Reach. There was great audience participation throughout the performance of The Lumineers’ Hey Ho, and Yolanda Gumpo impressed with her version of Beyonce’s Love on Top, this year’s winning House Music song. As Head of Voice and Choirs Sara Reynolds commented, Yolanda’s singing was even better than Beyonce’s herself.
A new venture for Seaford this year has been the Jazz Band, which has proved to be hugely successful. Fresh from their impressive performance at Langham Brewery, where owner Lesley Foulkes praised them for being ‘exceptional,’ they kicked off the evening in style with classics Feeling Good and Fever. Abbey Caveney was another of the evening star performers; singing George Ezra’s Budapest with haunting and soulful grace.
The evening contained a couple of surprises too. Several members of the teaching staff took to the stage in coordinating beige chinos, white shirts and sunglasses to form boyband ‘Take This.’ Their rendition of the Backstreet Boys classic I Want it That Way was performed with an abundance of flair and was an audience favourite.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was the performance by Headmaster John Green, who had pledged to sing if £500 was raised for the forthcoming choir tour to Paris. In the end, enough funds were raised, so Mr Green was good to his word and sang Tom Jones’ Green Green Grass of Home. He proved to be a natural performer, and had the entire audience swaying together.
The finale of the evening was a dazzling rendition of Mark Ronson’s hit Uptown Funk. All the performers joined together, and had audience members dancing in front of the stage. It is was a fitting end to an amazing evening that truly showcased the enormous and varied talents of Seaford College’s Music Department.
Sara Reynolds, who organised the event, said: “Seafordstock is getting better and better each year, it’s growing and growing. All the students performed so well, they are my rock stars, and I am looking forward to doing it all again next year.”
Seaford College Prep School gave a dazzling performance of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last week. Eighty students from Years 2 to 8 took part in the production, with Nick Easton taking the title role and Ben Clark as the Pharaoh.
The role of the Narrator was divided between five students including two of the cast’s youngest members, Charlotte Cragg and Lauren Goldsmith.
Head of the Prep School Sebastian Rees said that the show was “an example of what the Prep School does best, making education fun.”
Head of Drama Dr Jane Askew said, “The performing arts are thriving at Seaford College, with events happening throughout the year. It is very exciting to see the younger students emerging with such talent.”
Musicians and singers from both the Prep and Senior School performed a range of acoustic songs, featuring everything from George Ezra to John Legend, James Bay to The Lumineers, as well as a variety of jazz classics.
The event was organised by Head of Voice and Choirs Sara Reynolds, and Acting Director of Music Jeremy Weaver, who were both delighted by the support shown by all those who attended and very proud of all students who performed.
The Music Department’s next big event is Seafordstock on Wednesday 1st July, to find out more CLICK HERE.