In January, we were delighted (and very fortunate) to welcome back to Ashfield School Splendid Productions, an incredible theatre company who have visited us on previous production tours around the UK. This year, they performed Alfred Jerry’s UBU, which had been creatively adapted by Artistic Director Kerry Frampton.

Our GCSE and A-Level students were left highly entertained and creatively inspired by the outstanding performances given by Kerry Frampton and Scott Smith, who used a variety of theatrical tools and devices to shock, amuse, and provoke intellectual engagement. All students left the theatre with huge smiles on their faces and lots of questions they were keen to ask – a definite win for Splendid!

Over the years, Splendid’s work has provided inspiration for generations of dramatists and it is safe to say that with the calibre of the offering this year, we are confident that many more will produce exam work in a similar style for years to come! Some of our students even took part in interactive workshops after the performance, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the production itself, how to work in a ‘Splendid style’, and how to apply Brechtian methodologies to a text. All in all, the sessions were informative, practical and fun! Both of the performers commented upon how much of a pleasure and a joy it was to work with our students because they threw themselves into the sessions with enthusiasm and impressed with their strong subject knowledge.

This year, we were delighted to be able to offer the opportunity for GCSE students from Heritage High School to join us at Ashfield to watch the performance, enabling even more students to be inspired by the work of Splendid!

As a department, our fundamental belief is that students should see as much live theatre as possible – so thank you to our friends at Splendid Productions for returning to Ashfield and sharing their latest work with us; we really do feel lucky to have seen it live!