By Fiona Bush, Performing arts dept., 26 April 2016
Recently AS Level Performance Studies students performed their Community Performances to an audience of parents, staff and friends. Their brief was to devise original pieces of performance work based on community topics relevant to Colchester, exploring the themes and events through acting, dance and song. Students worked in a Physical theatre style, taking influence from companies such as Frantic Assembly (of “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” fame) and DV8 (known for work such as “John” at the National Theatre in 2015). Students composed and played their own songs, choreographed their own dance sequences and devised their own scripts after completing significant research on each topic. They were highly creative and innovative in their approaches to these community topics, which ranged from the history of Severalls hospital, the trial of Jeremy Bamber, Colchester Ghost Stories, the 1665 Plague in Colchester, to The murder in the Red Barn in Polstead, and Matthew Hopkins The self-appointed Witch-Finder General in the “Essex Witch Hunts” of the 1700s (see photo).