PRODUCTION: A double-plus all round

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All hail to the Duchess’s Community High School Student Drama for a double-plus good production and performance of 1984 at Alnwick Playhouse last week.

All hail to the hard-working, talented students who, as we have come to expect with a DCHS play, performed with talent, conviction and flair. They deserve a double-plus good for effort, technique and artistic achievement. They are outstanding performers.

All hail to the stage crew, wardrobe, front-of-house and other behind-the-scenes contributors to this amazing production.

All hail to Martin Allenby, the double-plus good director, inspiration and guiding light for drama at DCHS and his assistant directors.

All hail to Maurice Hall, headteacher, and the governors for supporting the provision of drama, music and the arts in their school.

Congratulations on being recognised as an Artsmark Gold school.

It is sometimes said that drama is a non-subject, of little importance compared with the discipline of ‘real’ academic subjects, and a waste of resources and time. This is a double-plus bad mistake.

Involvement in a theatrical production, particularly one of this quality, as Ella Paul-Parsons, assistant director, says in the programme notes, ‘hands you a work ethic that carries you through life’.

It requires teamwork, respect for others, dedication, thought and responsibility. It provides new transferable skills and helps develop emotional intelligence. Then, of course, there is the contact with, and learning from, the works of great writers.

Arguably, creating and presenting a play is an education in itself. Some of the students who were involved in previous productions have graduated to West End and other professional stages, and many to significant positions in many professions.

Academia and the arts are not mutually exclusive.

The revival of 1984 was appropriate in these post-truth times, when two plus two makes five if it feels right, and when learning and ‘experts’ are disregarded.

Thank you to all at DCHS for a wonderful, inspirational and enjoyable evening.

We are very fortunate to have such talented students, a great school and thriving Playhouse in our area.

All hail to you all. Double-plus good everyone.

Ros and Geoff Hoskin,

Whittingham