On the last day of LGBTQ+ History Month, Rochester Independent College held its first LGBTQ+ Club for students. The club provided lively debate as well as showing some of John Water’s classic film, Hairspray.
The club is here to provide support, chat, entertainment, and information – but most of all to have fun! Over the coming weeks, students will discuss literature, film, magazines as well as chat about personal experiences and signpost students to key information.
Pride Month is fast approaching so club members will work on a project to celebrate this. Fancy getting involved? The club will run every Monday lunchtime in Room 4. See Mark or Deb for further information.
Towards the end of this term RIC Theatre Company presented Little Shop of Horrors at Chatham Central Theatre for 2 sold out nights. Audrey was played by Maria Jarvis on the first night and Millie Bevan on the second. In 2 parts, Maria and Millie recount their experiences of being part of RIC Theatre Company’s most successful show to date.
“This term, we were finally able to put on our production of Little Shop of Horrors, after it being postponed back in 2020 due to Covid lockdowns. I have found the whole experience stressful, wonderful, and thrilling. We had to recast a lot of the characters, except Seymour and Audrey, due to people having finished their time at RIC, so when we started rehearsals everyone knew different parts of the play. Some people knew it very well, and others had no idea what the play was about. The constant rehearsals were tiring at times, especially as a lot of the main cast have a levels coming up and I was trying to keep up with my coursework as well as working on mannerisms for Audrey. The whole cast were supportive of each other throughout this year, whether it was someone having trouble with lines, or needing to take a break for work, it was lovely to see a community grow from multiple year groups, and all from one show!
Having a week in the theatre was amazing, getting to work with the tech crew and puppets was really exciting, and it was at this point that everyone sort of realised we’d actually got to the point where we’d be performing to an audience. We lost our bass player to covid (he’s alright now!) so we had to find a replacement who could learn the songs and cues in a couple of days- thank goodness we had Rob who managed to get his friend who was amazing on Bass. Tech runs started with the lights the day before the performance. Then Wednesday morning, dress rehearsal, when I discovered multiple quick changes (one of which was only one verse of a song!) which increased my nerves a little bit.
However, once we hit dinner time, and I sat watching everyone else eat, the adrenaline started hitting me, and I was already immensely proud of everyone in the room.
The performance itself feels unreal, and for a few days I was completely euphoric, unable to believe that we’d done such a massive performance and pulled it off with minor problems (except my mic pack coming out on the middle of a song, and Bens leather jacket going missing!) Everyone did so well, and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved- from the teachers to the ensemble. Before even returning to school, the compliments from teachers, peers and families surrounded us- quite literally in my case as a few friends snuck in backstage to congratulate me and the cast!
So if you saw the play, or were part of it, thank you- for making mine, and my classmates 2022 play at RIC so memorable.”
Towards the end of this term RIC Theatre Company presented Little Shop of Horrors at Chatham Central Theatre for 2 sold out nights. Audrey was played by Maria Jarvis on the first night and Millie Bevan on the second. In 2 parts, Maria and Millie recount their experiences of being part of RIC Theatre Company’s most successful show to date
“The experience of playing Audrey was joyous, challenging, and one that I will never forget. I look back over the last two years and a half years and in the midst of all the difficulties faced nationally and personally, all the changes in our education and uncertainty in the world, I am so incredibly grateful to have had Little Shop as a shining light at the end of the tunnel – something to truly look forward to, and to motivate me. Finally stepping into the theatre was a moment of pure elation and a sigh of relief, because we had made it. All of the work and effort we had put in was coming together, and the end product was most definitely worth it.
There are many reasons why I love theatre. Perhaps the moment I enjoy least is actually stepping out on the stage, because I have stage fright (a bit counterintuitive I know). No, the reason I love theatre is because of the camaraderie and support that is built throughout the creation of a show; the moment after I first step out on stage when I am filled with a sense of achievement for having made it despite that fear, and suddenly feel like my soul has been set alight; the months of preparation that go into creating a show. Little Shop was great for me this year because it gave me a focus and purpose outside of my A-level exams, and a chance to really connect with others. There was a lot of trust between cast members and support from everyone involved. We would laugh a lot and never judged when someone got frustrated. And Sally – our director – did an amazing job at bringing this musical to life. She believed in me through everything, and was really patient in helping me find the character of Audrey, which was a challenge to say the least! But one I relished nonetheless. I have to admit, I didn’t love learning to walk in heels quite so much, but going from looking like Bambi on ice to being able to make it down a staircase and across a stage in glittery high-heels was an accomplishment! I think the phrase ‘lean into the awkwardness’ will forever stick in my mind.
This might be a bit harder to understand, but another reason I love theatre – and loved this show – is because it can go wrong. And it does go wrong. I am in awe of Rob – our MD – for making it through the show after falling down the stairs, and patching up our mistakes in the music while he was at it. The moment the entire lighting system went down was quite surreal, and added the extra challenge of trying to ignore the audience’s faces when the house lights came on. My dress getting stuck on my mic pack and having to go on wearing 2 dresses was interesting as well. But the thing about those mistakes is that it shows just how talented and dedicated everyone working on the show was, because it’s true – the show must go on. And it did. It was exhilarating to be honest.
Although it’s been more like Little Cast of Horrors at points, although there were some hiccups along the way and even up until the final show, I loved every second of my Little Shop experience. We never failed to lift each other up and help each other through, and the buzzing feeling of being in a real theatre having just done a full performance can’t be rivalled. I am so proud of everyone involved and so grateful for this opportunity.”
Students from Year 7 have been working hard over the last few months to gain qualified Digital Leader status. This means that not only have they acquired key knowledge in staying safe online, they also have the skills to deliver this knowledge to the rest of the school.
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is a youth leadership training programme empowering young people to educate their peers about online safety. All of Year 7 have completed the required modules to be fully trained Digital Leaders.
The next stage is to educate their peers – starting with a short film they have made for Safer Internet Day 2022 that form groups around the school will watch and discuss.