Block 5 student interns at renowned costume house

By Juliette Lemley, Block 5

In July, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to complete an internship at Tirelli Costumi, a renowned costume house based in Rome which supplies period costumes for motion picture productions.

During the internship, I met the fashion designer Andrea Sorrentino and I was able to work with him as he prepared the wardrobe for Catherine the Great, starring Helen Mirren, which is currently being filmed.

At the conclusion of our work in July, Mr Sorrentino invited me to take my internship further and return to Rome to assist him in the presentation of his work in a major exhibition on costume and wardrobe in cinema.

My role was to assist him in the preparation of his portion of the exhibition. Mr Sorrentino was displaying one of his original wardrobe pieces that he created for a short film called The Secret of Joy.

The exhibition was very interesting as it incorporated the work of established designers such as Piero Tosi and Maurizio Millinoti, both of whom are legendary designers in the global cinema world, and combined it with the work of fashion design students who are their protégés.

Some of the specific tasks I worked on as we prepared the display included adding gems to the dress, steaming the dress and adjusting some of the worn out areas on the dress, as well as numerous other things.

While working with Mr Sorrentino I gained a couple of insights that have been very impactful on my thinking. The first is that no matter what level, or what business you are working in, details matter – and focus on them is critical.

Secondly, I now have a much stronger understanding of how important it is to create and nurture relationships with people you admire and respect so, if you are fortunate, you have the opportunity to continue to learn from them. Also, being a good and dependable team mate is critical as people will be able to depend on you and you will be able to learn more.

Thank you to Bedales for making it possible for me to take part in the internship and continue my education in this area.

Head Students visit the Minerva Theatre

By Bedales Head Students

Last Tuesday, the Head Students, along with Magnus, saw Cock by Mike Bartlett at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. While it was frustrating to watch due to the high levels of tension, it was also charming, funny and intimate. The dysfunctional relationship between John (Luke Thallon) and M (Matthew Needham) made the audience cringe and laugh. The fast moving pace of the writing made the relationship between John and W (Isabella Laughland) seem move exciting.

In the story we see these relationship’s put to the test when John goes from dating M to dating W. Therefore identifying as gay to identifying to bisexual. The twist comes when John makes promises to both parties that he wants to stay with them. This in turn leads to the climatic end to the story where we see M’s dad get involved in the situation Although the ending is left ambiguous the acute frustration of a household chore is amplified in John’s horrific decision. It is not the final choice that it is horrific, of course, the journey that he took there.

The staging of this play was very simple. There were no props or set. On the floor was red tape in the shape of a decagon. To show that time had passed, a alarm bell would ring and right lights would flash. The actors would change positions based on emotions rather than on particle steps. The beautiful and intricate writing of Mike Bartlett was portrayed perfectly, the words feeling natural for each character.

Commission for Block 4 student

A Block 4 student whose original script was selected to be performed at an event in London has been commissioned to develop it into a full-length piece for theatre in the capital’s West End.

Freya Hannan-Mills’ script, Swallow – which documents a daughter’s last days in a hospice with her mother – was one of four pieces of writing chosen by casting company Spotlight to be produced for an event hosted at their studios in the heart of the West End on 7 October.

The piece, which was brought to life for Spotlight’s event by director Phoebe Rhodes and actress Kate Kelly Flood, was well received by the industry panel in attendance, with casting director Daniel Edwards tweeting: “Left speechless by [Freya’s] exceptional piece … This young actress/writer is one to watch people!”

Following the success of the performance, Freya received the news that she was to be commissioned to develop Swallow into a full-length piece for performance at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London’s West End in January 2019.

The script will also be featured in a ‘Best of 2018’ showcase in London in December 2018.

Freya’s latest success comes just a week after she received the Robert Hutchison Young Poets Competition for her poem, Overheard at Zara – Liverpool One, at a special prize-giving event at the University of Winchester.

Earlier this year she was crowned the winner of  Wicked Young Writer Awards’ 11-14 Years Category for her short story, Mushy Peas and Battered Bits.

Students cycle the South Downs Way

By Oscar Kingsley-Pallant, 6.2

Last weekend Archie Gibbon, Jack Cecil, Sam Wilson and I left the King Alfred’s statue in Winchester at four o’clock in the morning attempting to cycle the South Downs Way in a day.

The initial 25 miles went by in a breeze, though in freezing temperatures and pitch black skies the distance we covered in such a short space of time raised our confidence.

At 30 miles we hit a low and began to struggle with the constant increase in steepness of the hills. At the perfect time we met Nicola Cecil and Fionna Gibbon who re-supplied us with energy and morale. Setting off after that was hard and required huge mental and physical strength for the next 40 or so miles.

After hours of intense cycling on the unforgiving terrain we met Jim Gibbon, a true guardian angel to all each of us. From Brighton he supported us with fuel and motivation, meeting us at pit stops well into the night.

When darkness came we were still left with 30 miles to go and struggled. The encouragement we got from each other allowed us to continue and spur on until Eastbourne came into view.

When finishing the final leg of the journey we were all fully exhausted and lied down underneath the finishing sign with a sense of overwhelming happiness and pride that we had completed cycling the South Downs Way in a day.

Thank you to all those who supported us, especially our parents, and thank you to those who have donated to our cause as we raise money for Swaziland.

Bedales student attends Rank Foundation Leadership Day

By Norpell Wilberforce, 6.1

On 13 September, I attended the Rank Foundation School Leadership Day. Prior to that, the Rank Foundation had been a mysterious organisation about which I could only guess. However, on the day all was made clear to me with perfect clarity; we were given a talk explaining the organisation’s history and their aims and were tasked to make videos centred on various aspects of leadership so that we hear each other’s ideas and learn from them.

These videos could only have ten shots lasting only a few seconds so it pushed all our cinematography skills to the limit! My group were given the question “what are the qualities of a good leader” and there were lots of intelligent answers such as resourcefulness, determination, wisdom and charisma to name but a few. However, what really resonated with me was when one of my peers answered “A good leader knows when to relinquish control”. I think that this is one of the most important qualities because the progression of time calls for different leaders with different styles; the time a leader must really step up to the occasion is when it is time for them to step down.

Despite the well-planned and engaging programme, what I enjoyed best was meeting the rest of my cohort and hearing about their summer placements and the fantastic opportunities Rank offered them. It was an immensely enjoyable day and I look forward with much anticipation to next year!

Helena Vardag-Walters’ show-jumping success

Helena Vardag-Walters

Congratulations to Helena Vardag-Walters (Block 3), who celebrated a double win her first Italian show-jumping competition this summer.

On the first day of the two-day competition, which took place in Teaterno last month, Helena won the National A** 100m on Vardags Equestrian’s Hungarian warmblood, Corino de Vardag, leading the way with a three-second advantage over her competitor in second place.

The following day, Helena returned to win again, this time on Vardags Equestrian’s newest addition, Etoile de Vardag – this time finishing an impressive 14 seconds faster than her competitor in third place.

A blog post on Vardags’ website reads: “Helena’s incredible feat over the two-day competition showed not only her unwavering commitment to the sport but also her rising talent and determination to succeed.”

Freya Hannan-Mills wins Wicked Young Writer Award

freya-hannan-mills-bedales

Congratulations to Block 3 student Freya Hannan-Mills, who has been crowned winner of the 11-14 Years Category in the esteemed Wicked Young Writer Awards 2018.

Freya’s short story, Mushy Peas and Battered Bits – which was chosen as the winning entry by a panel including bestselling children’s author Michael Morpurgo, How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell, Olivier Award winning theatre producer Michael McCabe, and Young People’s Laureate for London Caleb Femi – staved off competition from 19 other finalists.

As winner of her category Freya won four tickets to see the London production of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, a meet and greet with the cast members and an exclusive backstage tour, as well as £50 worth of books tokens, an annual subscription to award-winning children’s newspaper First News, and £100 worth of books for Bedales’ school library donated by Hachette Children’s Books.

Now in its eighth year, the Wicked Young Writer Awards recognises excellence in writing, encourages creativity, and helps develop writing talent in young people aged between five and 25 years old from all backgrounds and areas of the UK.

Freya said: “It was a fantastic honour to win the Wicked Young Writer Award. I felt shocked and excited to have won. A highlight of the ceremony was Alice Fern, who plays Elphaba in Wicked, reading my story.”

She added: “Since being at Bedales I really feel as though my creative writing has matured and developed – I have had enormous support, encouragement and the opportunity to attend masterclasses and mentoring sessions.”

Freya, who last year appeared on stage at the Lyric Theatre, London, in the production Snow Angels which she also wrote, is currently working on another script which is due to be filmed this summer.

Freya has kindly donated a copy of the book containing her winning entry, along with the other finalists’ entries, to Bedales’ school library.

Read Freya’s winning entry here (scroll to page 66).