Rock Challenge 2013

Update 13/03/13 – watch the video of the event, directed by our students, by clicking here.

Boys from Beverley Grammar School have been working with the girls from Beverley High for the past few months, rehearsing and preparing for Rock Challenge. Rock Challenge is a global competition which involves teams creating an eight minute drama, movement and dance piece performed to a soundtrack. Each performance has its own theme, decided by the school, and works with a team of between 20 and 120 youngsters.

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On Tuesday 19th February, the Beverley High and Beverley Grammar Rock Challenge team made the journey to Bridlington Spa to perform in the annual regional heat. Arriving in Bridlington at 9.30am, students brought the set, costumes and props into the Spa’s Royal Hall before settling down for a relaxing half an hour. However, this relaxation wasn’t to last long! The famous morning production meeting got off to a loud start with the usual raving, dancing, Mexican waves, screaming and jumping around. Following this, all of the schools rehearsed their pieces on the stage, with lighting and video rehearsals. When Beverley High and Grammar’s turn came to rehearse, the stage crew put the set of a Marie Celeste ship and storm / sunset flats onto the stage before the performers took their places. The first run of the performance began, and the lighting director (Sam Kelly) worked with the lighting professional to create an exciting lighting design, in conjunction with the spot light operators, Oscar Baumber and Will Sheen. After some feedback, the students ran a second rehearsal on the stage, this time with full lighting. The rehearsal went really well, and gained a rapturous applause from students from other schools. Students used great performance skills during the rehearsal, showing professionalism and passion throughout. Whilst all of this was going on, video directors Connor O’Brien and Edward Clarkson planned and practised their video of the event, directing three camera men and a video editor.

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Following the rehearsal, students watched other schools, and went out for a breath of fresh air and lunch. Late afternoon, after the second production meeting, a spot of staff dancing on stage and a giant 1000 person conga, preparations for the evening performance began. Our team then went to their dressing room and began to get ready. A team of face painters and hair stylists from East Riding College transformed the team with face paint, make up, false eyelashes, glitter, false facial hair(!) and litres of hair spray! Even the boys enjoyed their hair being transformed although I won’t mention their foundation, blusher and eye make up …! Following a team talk and a few last minute tweaks and rehearsals, it was time to go on stage! The stage crew (including Mr Tuohy) went to the stage first, followed closely by the lighting and video students, then the army of performers. Everyone was incredibly focussed on what was about to happen.

The time had arrived! The stage crew quickly got the set onto the stage, and Conor Spilsbury started the performance with an introduction, explaining the theme, ‘The Ghost of Celeste’:

His breakfast lies, undisturbed,
chair all ready, prepared,
The rest of the crew, disappeared,
Their belonging, bared to me.
No-one knows what happens,
But wait, I tell a lie.
Some men do, but find them,
That’s the quest, I’m told.
All those people vanished,
And we want to know why.
The event that sparked our interest,
Still remains a mystery

The performance then started, the lights being brought up and the soundtrack beginning. Sailors and their wives bounded onto the stage, waving their wives goodbye. The ship then sailed, hitting a storm soon after with lighting flashing and searching around the stage. Beautiful mermaids then arrived onto the stage, mesmerising the sailors and bringing them off the ship, before the rocks came alive. Then, a battle broke out, with the mermaids killing the sailors. A heartbreaking ending, with the sailors wives finding out that their husbands were lost at sea left the audience wanting more. The sound of thousands of audience members clapping and cheering ended the performance in the best way possible! Following the performance, the stage crew removed the set in record time whilst the student representatives from the team answered questions on the stage. During these questions, the team also found out that they’d been given the award for ‘School Community Support’ which celebrates the fundraising efforts of team members.

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After the performance, students got changed and watched some of the other schools perform. Then came the time for the results! ‘The Ghost of Celeste’ team won awards for ‘Staging’, ‘Achievement in Drug Awareness’ and, in our opinion, the best performance of all, ‘The Spirit of Rock Challenge’. This award is given to the nicest, friendliest team who get into the positive and excitable spirit of Rock Challenge throughout the day. This is an amazing accolade for the team and well deserved! All students behaved impeccably during the day and made lots of new friends from different schools.

Huge congratulations to the ‘Ghost of Celeste’ team, and thanks to all of the staff involved from Beverley High School who made the performance possible.

Mrs Hughes

See the Beverley Guardian’s coverage of the event here.

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