‘There But Not There’, an immersive art experience and concert that marked the hundredth anniversary of the end of WW1, took place this week. The evening was the culmination of a sixth month collaborative project, which involved the art, drama, English, music and history departments.
The evening began with a self-guided immersive art experience, where guests explored and engaged with a series of performances and installations. A strong narrative that ran through these experiences was the effect of WW1 on women and their vital contribution to the war effort.
A music and drama concert closed the evening which included a poignant drama and music performance of the Christmas Truce and a moving performance of excerpts from Karl Jenkin’s Armed Man: Mass for Peace.
Francesca McBride, 17, Deputy Head Girl at Portsmouth High School, said:
‘It was an amazing experience to take part in and enabled me to explore a different side of acting. It was particularly pertinent this year to commemorate the fallen soldiers.’
Ruby Newport Spiers, 15, who played the clarinet in the orchestra added:
‘It was very moving to play a part and a lovely way to remember that one hundred years ago the war was just finishing.’
Mrs Sarah Mansell, one of Portsmouth High School’s Governors said:
‘What a profoundly poignant evening. It exemplified the school in all its variety and communities. It was a remarkably collaborative experience and the vignettes we watched, particular White Feather, were heartbreaking. The concert, as ever, took everyone to new heights.’
Mr Rob Smith, who brought the evening together added:
‘Particularly moving was how the evening allowed the girls to explore and reflect on the human dimension of the war; playing poignant tribute to the experiences and stories of women in WWI.’