Performing Arts students are preparing for the regional final of the Rock Challenge competition next month.
The 27-strong team of Level 3 Extended Diploma students won the Guildford heat at G Live on April 1 with their contemporary theatrical piece Sayonara Mizuki, getting seven additional awards ranging from set design to choreography.
The students took part in Rock Challenge as an addition to their class productions, and worked on devising the show as well as the choreography, costumes and staging.
Four hairdressing students and lecturer Stephanie Moore worked on the students’ hairstyles for the show, while Performing Arts tutor Leanne Bentley did the makeup.
“This is the first year we’ve taken part in Rock Challenge, and to come away with some many awards is absolutely fantastic,” said Performing Arts Section Leader Gavin Maxwell.
“We were especially proud of how hard the students worked and how supportive they were on the day towards the other students taking part.”
Sayonara Mizuki, which was directed by Level 3 tutor Jamie Roberts, told the story of a young girl who saw her father murdered and years later unleashed an army of warriors to avenge his death.
Rock Challenge aims to promote the drug-free high of performing, with students banned from drinking, smoking or using any kind of drugs, including energy drinks and coffee.
Level 3 second-year students Hollie O’Donnell, Robyn Danneau and Cameron Muir, all 18, described performing at the competition as ‘an amazing experience’.
“The performance went quite well, but I think we’ve probably done better,” said Cameron, who worked with Jamie on the choreography. “We were pretty overwhelmed to win so many awards, we couldn’t believe it.”
Robyn worked on the set with Clair Prime, and said the cast had found it tough to balance the production with their other commitments, but had enjoyed the challenge.
“We’ve all been exhausted, but that’s been a good experience in itself because working in this industry is very intense. We’ve learnt how to plan our time well.”
Hollie added: “The best part was the atmosphere at the competition. All the groups were really supportive of each other and wanted everyone to do the best they could.”
The awards won by the students were: The Surrey High Sherriff Trust Awards of Excellence for both Concept and Stage Use; the Guildford Borough Council Awards of Excellence for Stage Crew, Choreography and Visual Enhancement; the Surrey County Council Award of Excellence for Performance Skill; the Surrey Police Award of Excellence for Set Design and Function, and the Health, Lifestyle and Drug Awareness award.
In addition, the students won the Surrey County Council Award for Performers’ Choice, which was voted for by the other students, and the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner’s Award for Spirit of Rock Challenge, due to the support they showed the other performers.
The Southern Open Final is being held in Portsmouth on June 19, where Nescot’s team will face students from 12 other schools and colleges across the country.