Jeppe High School for Boy’s 2017 major production, Clue, played to a near full house on two nights, and to a sell-out crowd on the third, and to rave reviews, last week.
The play, an adaptation of the film based on the board game of the same name, it was directed by Gabriella Sutherland – the outgoing head of drama at Jeppe – assisted by Bronwyn Kemp, who has taken over the running of the club at the school.
A comedy is always a good choice for a school, Kemp explains, because it’s easy to draw in the audience, but it also requires a lot of hard work. “We had a big ensemble cast of 15 – 12 boys and three girls – most of who were on the stage throughout the production, so to get the timing right and to create the right chemistry took hours of rehearsal.”
To accomplish that, they cast the play and started practicing back in May, in between the play festivals that are on at that time of the year. And ever since those ended it’s been between three and five hours of rehearsal a day, pretty much every day.
“I think drama is an excellent educational activity,” Ms Kemp said. “It takes courage to get up and perform in front of an audience, and when thing go wrong, as they inevitably will, you have to be able to think on your feet. Those are valuable life skills.”
Along with the 15 on-stage cast members there were a further seven crew members who worked backstage. “That’s quite a big group of pupils, learning the value of commitment and perseverance.”
Kemp says Gabriella Sutherland will be missed. She has worked with the matrics in the club for five years now, so this was their final curtain call. “I’m grateful to her for helping me ease in to running drama in the future and for making the transition smooth.”