Brentwood School put on a lockdown special play
- Credit: Brentwood School
The coronavirus has halted all theatre performances but for Brentwood School, they've seized the opportunity to put a pandemic special on stage.
Lockdown: The Musical is a never-been-done-before project written entirely in lockdown by two teachers at the school - and performed entirely by students in lockdown now on YouTube to watch from start to finish.
It tells the story of Neo and Chloe, a young couple forced apart as a result of the national lockdown as teenagers everywhere navigate a new world full of challenges.
"Being a teenager in lockdown has not been easy for many students, especially when the government has banned kissing!," say creators Matthew Bulmer and Florian Cooper, director of performing arts and director of music.
"But as hard as it may be, the teens know that deep down the rules need to be followed!"
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Lockdown: The Musical is a seven song, 40-minute-long light-hearted insight into a teenage perspective of Covid-19 and reminds us that, although we can’t be in the same room, we can still make special memories together.
This latest and most ambitious project from Brentwood School was performed by eight members of the school’s Upper Sixth - produced and performed in just six weeks - who were unable to perform in the annual School Musical in December, which was cancelled as a result of lockdown
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Matthew Bulmer added: "We all felt upset for our Upper Sixth students when the Winter Musical was cancelled this year.
"It is the highlight of many of our students’ seven-year stint at the school - especially those who have given everything to the Performing Arts during that time.
"Mr Cooper and I made the decision to write something special for these dedicated and talented individuals in January and a few weeks later here we are."
Neo, 18, who plays a leading role in the performance and is hoping to attend Drama School after he leaves Brentwood School in July, says: "The most important thing for me has been to stay creative during lockdown and the musical has given me and my friends the opportunity the engage with something really exciting and engaging during a time when it can be really difficult to stay motivated".
The Brentwood School Performing Arts Faculty had had more than 70,000 YouTube views, more than 5000 individual online performance submissions and over 100 virtually staged events.
Highlights have included a Les Misérables spoof video, weekly chamber concerts, full choral evensong, a 180-student production of Bugsy Malone and the school won the 2020 Shakespeare Schools Festival.
Watch the performance on their YouTube channel: youtube.com/c/BrentwoodSchoolEssex