In celebration of the centenary anniversary of (some) British women achieving the right to vote, along with the 50 year anniversary of girls joining Dean Close School, Shelburne House took to the stage for a revue performance of Out of the Shadows. An inspiring play that showcased powerful women throughout history.

Shelburne House is home to many talented drama pupils and several of the girls are very familiar with the Bacon Theatre stage. Particular highlights included the extraordinary performance from Polina Kalashnikova who stunned audiences with her rendition of ‘Rainbow High’ as Eva Perón. Sixth Form pupil, Gabriella Sills, not only carried several characters in the show but was responsible for all of the choreography as well as helping to create the script itself. Gabriella’s sensational creativity and keen eye for detail certainly left its mark on this sparkling performance. Amidst the comedy and uplifting music, one particular moment of poignancy came from Pollyanna Harris’ sensitive portrayal of Emmeline Pankhurst, which was paired with verbatim comments that opposed women’s suffrage.

However, as well as showcasing Dean Close’s most experienced thespians, ‘Out of the Shadows’ featured a number of pupils performing for the very first time (not that the audience would have known). Ren Garcia-Rodriguez was one of many rising stars, captivating all with her comical yet rather sympathetic performance of Mark Twain’s Eve. The Shelburne girls were also supported by several boys who helped to explore the issue of gender equality from a male perspective.

Director of the production, Emma Hodgkinson, said, “Every member of the cast worked together with inspired energy to create a performance that not only left audience members in peals of laughter but carried an incredibly important message during a time where gender equality is such a relevant topic.”