Year 6 girls at Portsmouth High Junior School put on an amazing end of year drama production over two nights to a packed audience of parents, staff and visitors.
Down Stepney Way, written and directed by their class teacher Dr David Barrett, was set in London in September 1940. The story focuses on the lives of a group of youngsters from the East End of London and an unlikely group of aristocratic visitors from the West End. The action takes place before and after the first German bombing raid of the Blitz when a romance begins between Lord William and a working class girl from Stepney.
Thea Kent (Year 6), who played the parts of Charles Rotherfield (the son of a rich banker) and Sykes (a butler at the Carlton Club) said “I really enjoyed performing in Down Stepney Way. I particularly enjoyed playing Titania in an extract from A Midsummer Night’s Dream which was part of the play and Sykes, the butler in the Carlton Club. I loved learning all the songs and performing them with actions on stage. Overall, it was an amazing experience and I am thrilled I was able to take part in it.”
Year 6 pupil Tabitha Stockton-Chalk said “I really enjoyed putting on the performance and I honestly think that
I enjoyed it more than anyone else on stage. I’m really proud of everyone and know we all tried our best and worked really hard. I’m never going to forget how much fun we had and how amazing our teacher Dr Barrett was for writing the play and the songs”.
Prisha Shah (Year 6), who played the part of Maria Sackville, William’s fiancée, said “First of all I was nervous but when we performed in front of an audience I felt professional and went for it. I loved that I was both a girl and a boy and also an East Ender and West Ender. I loved putting on this musical and I am sad that it’s over. I’m never going to forget how hard we all worked but it was worth it”.
Dr David Barrett, who directed the production, said “I am immensely proud of the girls for all their hard work and enthusiasm right from the very first rehearsal. They were true professionals on both nights and performed this musical, which I originally wrote for Year 10 pupils, with such ease. I would like to thank Choreographer Mrs Cells and Musical Director Mrs Morris and all the staff who supported this production in so many ways to make it such a memorable occasion”.