On 1st October 2017 the Performing Arts department set off to Dusseldorf to perform at the Reading Dusseldorf 70th Anniversary weekend.
We were working with Theodor-Fliedner-Gymnasium on a new play called "The way we live". The group had been working hard on the piece, devised by our Performing Arts Head Mr Robinson, as well as fund raising for almost a year!
Once in Dusseldorf we went straight to the school for our first performance, and it was immediately clear that we had a long way to go before we were ready for the performance. After a week of re-writes, rehearsals, tears and joy we were ready for the first performance on the Thursday in front of staff and family.
The next day was the official event at a local Arts centre, and with both Dusseldorf and Reading dignitaries in attendance we performed our socks off, and at the end received our well deserved standing ovation.
During the week we also tasted the German way of life that included visits around the city and up the Rhine, as well as a day in Cologne. We learnt some German and eat German sausage (with mixed reviews) The students returned home on the Sunday, exhausted but proud of what they had achieved.
On 22nd - 24th January 2018 the Dusseldorf school returned to us for an evening of Shakespeare. The evening included 4 performances - A Winter's Tale, Midsummer Night's Dream, Juliet (a new dance piece) and a few songs to end the evening.
On the first day the Dusseldorf students arrived to rehearse and our school worked with them all week to help them be ready for the performance. The evening was a huge success with all three casts performing amazingly.
We had only been working on our plays, A Winter's a Tale and Juliet since the start of this term, a very short amount of time, however our students are extraordinary and thrive under pressure.
Last year we produced 30 performances as well as winning Choir of the Year and pick of the fringe at Reading Fringe festival' and so far this year we are up to 13! We are currently planning an event at the Hexagon in February (Children helping Children) and a return to Choir of the Year.
We are very proud of what we achieve here at JMA with the Performing Arts and intend to get bigger and better!