This year’s Junior Forms’ production was Archie Dobson’s War,a Key Stage 2 BBC play about World War I, chosen as part of the School’s commemoration of 100 years since the end of World War I.

Written inthree Acts, the play described the outbreak of the war, the war on the home front and the battlefield, with an ending of fighting and remembrance. The audience were taken on a powerful journey through the war, witnessing the effect it had on the 10 year old boy, Archie Dobson, and his family.Archie is playedsympathetically by Thomas Ridsdale, aged 9 and his parents by Freddie Martin (10)and Jessica Hindley (9), bothcreating convincing characters way beyond their years.

The story was told in
a stylised form, with
a large ensemble of
130 pupils dressed
in theatre blacks,
using mime, freeze
frame and physical
imagery, introducing extracts from famous WWI poetry to enhance the story. Apart from basic black staging and 4 wooden blocks, there was no set and the scenes were indicated by projected images from the period on the back wall of the stage. Similarly, props were deliberately kept to a bare minimum. The story telling was through script, early1900s original songs and words from some of the 1st World War poets: Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and John McCrae.

“This was an extremely challenging piece fortheJunior Forms’ to stage, not just
dramatically, but also emotionally and educationally, with some outstanding
performances all around.” Director of Drama, Lynne Lawrence said, “It has been
both rewarding and fascinating to witness the interest and learning of our youngest
pupils as we have tackled the history and the themes of this turbulent time.”

This topical production ended with the entire cast celebrating the end of the war.
Afterfestivities names of former Dean Close pupils, who lost their lives in the war,
were projected onto the large screen whilst the children recited the famous poem,
In Flanders Fields.

More pictures: https://www.deanclose.org.uk/DCPS-photogallery