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GCSE Drama pupils gain places at the British Youth Music Theatre
Rachel Bampton

Congratulations to Frederika, Jemimah, Eleanor, and Mia who have successfully gained places at the British Youth Music Theatre (BYMT).

Between the four of them, they will be participating in BYMT directed productions, as well as attending the popular Summer Camp. 

The Year 10 GCSE Drama pupils proactively used their free time during lockdown to take part in the virtual audition process. Apart from support with sourcing individual monologues, the pupils used their own devices to plan and rehearse their auditions. The competition was rife, with around 30 initial audition dates, plus additional added dates. They were up amongst a considerable number of other auditionees consisting of hundreds nationally. 

The audition process was rigorous, with the pupils devising their own acting, singing, and dancing compositions over Zoom - a very Covidesque audition! The dancing segment proved the most demanding as auditionees had to repeatedly perform their dance routine until the music stopped. For the following song, they had to adapt their routine to a new style and once again repeat it for the duration of the song. 

Asked how the audition process differed to previous experiences, Jemimah commented that, ‘Due to Covid it was a very different experience to what we would normally have done as we couldn’t go there. I previously did a summer school where we were able to interact with one another, whereas doing it over Zoom we had to do it in our bedrooms. I had to move my room around in order to do the dance, so it was very different. It’s a good way going forward though, as it prepares you for the future if there is another situation where you have to do it’.

Despite the difficulties of virtual auditions, the pupils viewed the process as a learning curve. Ellie also said that, ‘It gives you lots of experience, even just doing the audition process.’

Frederika, Jemimah, and Mia will be living away for two weeks over the summer, training for individual productions. They will each be given characters but will be in control of their characters’ development. Ellie will be attending the BYMT Summer Camp, where they will be producing their very own pupil-led production. 

Speaking about the benefits of gaining a place with BYMT, Frederika said, ‘It is very good for preparing you to do work in the West End as it’s very similar, such as living in a house with other people who you will be performing with. I think that living away from home for a bit, and being surrounded by people that want to do the same thing as you, is good preparation’.

All four pupils will be appearing in the Pangbourne Drama and Music departments’ production The Radio City Diamonds on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 June in Drake Hall. Don’t miss out on the show of the year, final tickets remaining! Book your tickets here - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScg-6PN4orbh1zebHlTLiKxFZN-KgPo9EEjEANcE7kEYHlInw/viewform