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Queen’s House – Day of Sport 2017
Queen’s House – Cross Country 2017
Queen’s House – World Book Day
Queen’s House 2016
Queen’s House 2015
Queen’s House Sports Day 2015
Queen’s House Summer Concert
Queen’s House Police Visit
The Abbey 2017
The Abbey 2016
Jack Beanstalk & Snow White
African Drum Workshop
Battle of Britain
The Abbey Show – Oliver
The Abbey Sports Day
Leavers Ball 2016
Sixth Form Production – Metamorphosis
Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Father Time
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General Election Hustings
Senior School 2017
Senior School 2016
CCF Almanza Dinner 2016
CCF Inspection 2016
FESTIVAL OF VOICES
How true, how true, how TRUE! A festival – ‘a celebration’ – and so it was, embracing the enthusiasm, skill, passion and talents of well over a hundred of our pupils from eight to eighteen, not forgetting the brilliant staff who guided them to such heights (the staff embraced a different range of ages… but Mr Penny’s not letting on).
Cantabile – stunningly melodious, and beautifully measured: poignant pieces, witty arrangements, and crystal clear from the start.
The Chamber Choir – the pinnacle, and at the top of its game, mixing the secular and the religious with graceful aplomb and mesmerising musicianship (did you pick out all the nursery rhymes before they all began-again?).
The Barbershop – not just a case of half a dozen snappy dressers having fun, but a wonderfully nuanced and balanced rendering of two classic songs given new heart and soul.
‘Down by the Riverside’ (how about that for a title written for Woodbridge…) and a wonderfully clever coming together of youth and experience as Cantabile followed where the Chamber Choir led. Brilliant.
The buzz at the interval was electric – here was an audience in the thrall of something very special. And the second half measured up in spades. The Abbey Chapel Choir delighted with its take on a very international repertoire, mixing brave solo voice with unison and harmony to joyous effect; the Chamber Choir returned to take glorious advantage of a chance to sing Mozart’s Ave Verum with a professional chamber orchestra; and then it was all (senior) hands to the pump for the Choral Society’s powerful performance of Schubert’s Mass in G featuring three quite outstanding soloists: Florence Gidney, David Spray and Owen Butcher.
A magical evening of song. Our sincere and enormous thanks to our wonderfully generous benefactor who made this very special event possible, and our hearty congratulations to all the performers, and of course to Ms Weston and her inspirational team of singing teachers, to Mrs Williams, to Mr Milton, to the memory of Mr Stafford, and to Mr Penny who rightly took the final bow at this, his final Woodbridge School Snape concert.
John Stafford Memorial Concert
Concerto Concert 2016 – Georgia Dawson
Concerto Concert 2016 – Rhiannon Humphreys
Concerto Concert 2016 – Isabella Pincombe
Concerto Concert 2016 – Tristan Hilger
Concerto Concert 2015
Gala Concert at Snape Maltings Concert Hall
Please click here for Gala Concert’s clips.
The glorious space and grand acoustic of the Snape Maltings Concert Hall: it deserves the very best of performances, and it deserves to be full to bursting… Woodbridge School music and its many supporters made to measure!
Our Gala concert was a triumph. From the Swing Band’s opening chords it was clear that this was to be a special evening. To see the Abbey children in the audience bopping up and down in their seats with gleeful enthusiasm (and great decorum, of course) was fantastic: they freely expressing what we grown-ups were all feeling. Swing Band, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra: solos and crescendos; familiar tunes interwoven with the less so; dances, grooves, fanfares and .. Les Misérables (always good for a bit of emotion). A stunning first half: match that, can you?
Well, match it we did in a sung second half repertoire which put a girdle round about the earth in a little over forty minutes. First The Abbey Chapel Choir scored a brilliant hat trick: precision, clarity and joie de vivre writ large. Then our guests from Germany, the Ahrensburg Youth Chamber Choir, brought an international flavour to their exploration of love and fellowship in song: French, German, American, Scottish and Welsh (well, Elton John). And finally all together with the Junior Choir and Choral Society – a chorus so large that the seats ran out! And what a dramatic finale it was: Tsunami Requiem – tragedy and hope; and Zadok the Priest to close and send us all into the night with our hearts full, ears ringing, and hands stinging from the rapturous applause. The entire concert was magnificent from start to finish.
Our thanks and congratulations to all the performers, to the many staff under John Penny’s leadership who helped them excel, and to the audience for its enthusiasm and support.
The Dream Catcher
Do we own our dreams, or do they own us? Do we remember the ones we alter as much as the ones we don’t? And what about the daydreamer? Asleep to surroundings, but awake to unrealities.
I worried for Alex, but I needn’t have done so it turned out. Thank goodness! Despite her rub with TV stardom, with the judiciary, and with a host of wonderfully ramshackled stories, she pulled through with dignity to take a centre stage in her imaginings and in the imaginings of those around her – and everyone was all so much the better for it. And as a result, so were we, the audience, left reassured, cheered, tickled and richly entertained by a Grange Hill mob of charming non-delinquents (did you recognise the music; did it roll back the years for you?). Well done Years 7 and 8; well done playwright Mrs Lockwood; and well done her fellow directors Tom and Bea and helpers Olly and James!
A world premier to tuck proudly into one’s back pocket of memories… and dreams!
The Egg Born Princess
‘Once upon a time there lived a queen whose heart was sore because she had no children…’
This enchanting adaptation fuses traditional Estonian folk music, song and dance with innovative storytelling.
MERRY WIVES, NAUGHTY KNIGHT
Sir John, you only had yourself to blame. Such decent and respectable mistresses were not to be turned by your lecherous interests, however much you trembled your tummy. There again, you were unlucky to pick on such wickedly cheeky ones – even if we in the audience blessed them for their enterprise, and that of those around them. You deserved your dirty downfall and we rejoiced in the schadenfreude.
Meanwhile, in the beguilingly complex subplot, there was an element of brexit in the spurning of France for something, and someone, more quintessentially English, further complicated by the need to choose between two parties – one familiar, the other foisted upon (I can’t quite squeeze out an election analogy there… despite my best efforts).
And so… a happy ending at least for two youngsters in love, and two couples left intact, for a padre knight and some happy country folk; as for the rest: commiserations to poor Doctor and poor Slender – you were unlucky (if a little short sighted), and all praise to the people of Windsor for your steadfast support of all and sundry, your dancing and carrying, your celebrations and your revelations. Marvellous entertainment under a beautiful sky and upon a magical stage: many congratulations to cast and crew on bringing us laughter and light as the sun set over Windsor-upon-Woodbridge.
In a coruscating condemnation of a blinkered, isolated and ritually blind society, death became the token by which the seasons were measured, anticipation fed, control wielded, and a veneer of community maintained. The individual sublimated to the masses; sacrifice of the one for the good of the rest; the idea of change stamped out with the same ruthless thoughtlessness as the stones hurled ‘because they were hurled at others’. Poor Tess. I can think of a few collective groups suffering similar predations these days… as the programme notes themselves suggested.
And it was ritual which helped to beguile the Seckford Theatre: innocent dance; measured steps; the slow motion coming together and separation like lungs stretching for breath all marked the passage of time for the body corporate. But the words told a different story – and they were expertly wrought, and delivered, to add a chilling poignancy to the madness so easily accepted.
Mesmerizingly acted; beautifully staged. The National Lottery will never feel quite the same again (and it might be said that, for the winner, the prize can seem in the end to have been just as brutal).
Our thanks, and sincere congratulations, to the cast and crew for a most powerful evening’s drama.
What a breath-taking descent into the realms of the conscious and sub-conscious, of alienation within love, and of the collapse of reason.
In a staging as stark and uncompromising as the plot, and with a visceral nod to an unreal reality, the Sixth Form worked its magical spell (more Voldemort than Weasley) upon an absolutely enthralled audience.
Oh Hans, you should have listened. Was seven years’ stolen life worth an eternity in the souls of gamblers? And what about you, Godson to Father time, you should have listened too… though perhaps for you it was better to have loved and lost? Bitter endings to two tales so beautifully told: mesmerising, enchanting, and completely engrossing. Music and dance; song and speech; pathos and humour – Mr Williams’s retelling of The Brothers Grimm’s two tales captured with glorious clarity the hearts of the stories, and the cast brought to vivid life the words on the page. Sublime puppetry, meticulously planned set and costumes, and Kathryn Clements’s wonderfully subtle choreography added lustre to what proved to be a gloriously popular and successful show in Edinburgh, a show which gave a triumphant and equally impressive reprise on the home stage of the Seckford Theatre this week. Kick yourself if you missed it – and take a peek at the video trailer to rub salt in your wound. And for those of us lucky enough to have enjoyed the performance either side of Hadrian’s Wall? Well, for us, all it remains is to thank and applaud once again the cast, the crew, the directors and the author of such a magical show.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Colour and movement, agony and ecstasy: the classic mixture of Shakespeare, Year 9, Williams and Mayes. Under a perfect sky in the heart of Suffolk a happy audience was transported to Italy and beguiled by love, loss, laughter, a hint of cross-dressing, a remarkably docile dog, and, in the end, a happy ending (of course).
Jessica Swale’s play astonishes us for its portrayal of the hostility women encountered as they sought the right to graduate from Cambridge: lecturers and male undergraduates bullying or patronising their female contemporaries in turn; and one speech in particular as close to a litany of hate as one could imagine. So much for Trinity men – well, for that one anyway. But fight the women did, and with a passionate intensity brought to our stage uncut and crystal clear over one hundred years later. The horror was in the last line… that the right to a degree so fiercely fought for in 1896 was only won in 1948. Fifty years earlier, though, the cloistered world was full of an intellectual excitement (occasionally subverted by passions of an altogether other sort) that our performers captured brilliantly; blue stockings, white pantaloons, college scarves, paisley waistcoats and all.
The evening was a surprise and a delight from the start: a scene set through physical theatre, tweaked and altered with rhythmic grace, but most of all filled with performances of great merit, honesty and integrity to the spirit of the age and the importance of the themes. Tess, Celia and Carolyn may not have graduated; Maeve may well have raised her brothers and sisters into adulthood; Mayhew, Holmes and Edwards no doubt stood for parliament; Lloyd probably died on Everest (good riddance); Will, I hope, made good his promise to wait; and Miss Welsh, Miss Blake and Mr Banks won the war if not the battle, and for that society owes them eternal respect and gratitude.
Many, many congratulations to cast and crew, to choreographer and directors. Brilliant!