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9th Annual French Drama Festival at King Alfred School

On Thursday 7 March, three Mill Hill pupils set off en route to King Alfred School for the 9th annual French Drama Festival. Thirteen schools were in attendance, and each had prepared a short piece of French theatre. This made for a positive smorgasbord of drama, from Racine’s verse to Ionesco’s absurdism. 

Each group hoped to impress the five judges and win one of the six prizes: Best Play, Best Lead Performance, Best Performance in a Supporting Role, Best Spoken French, Best Unique Theatrical Experience, and the Jury’s Special Award. 

Mill Hill’s players were three Upper Sixth French students, Dominic W (McClure), Aiden B (Winfield) and Tommaso L (Murray), whose performance of Yasmina Reza’s ‘Art’ was a veritable tour de force. The play follows the relationship between three friends as a controversial painting threatens to come between them. Serge (Dominic W), who fancies himself a modern art connoisseur, has spent an eye-watering amount of money on a large white painting, much to the chagrin of his friend, Marc (Aiden B), who is bewildered by the decision and argues with Serge incessantly. Caught in the middle is their friend, Yvan (Tommaso L), who tries his best to mediate, determined not to fall out with either of his friends and yet often the butt of their jokes. 

It is safe to say that the performance contained a certain je ne sais quoi for the judges, who awarded the Mill Hill group the award for ‘Best Unique Theatrical Experience’. One of the judges, Pierre Pillet, Head of Modern Languages at Charterhouse and Chair of the Alliance Française in Cambridge, singled out our pupils for their excellent comedic rapport and the totally convincing relationships between the three characters. 

The performance would not have been possible without the hard work and enthusiasm of their French teacher, Danielle Kaye, who has been taking Mill Hill pupils to the festival for a number of years. It is safe to say that the group made us, and the school, very proud.

We also owe a huge thank you to our hosts, King Alfred School, and their Head of Modern Foreign Languages, Pauline Moloney, who put together a brilliantly organised evening to celebrate the French language and showcase the theatrical talents of so many pupils.

And to our actors…Bravo!

 Abby Caister, Drama Graduate Assistant