By Vivienne Franzmann. Presented by Alcester Allstars.
The IT is a play about a teenage girl who has something growing inside her. She doesn’t know what it is, but she knows it’s not a baby. It expands in her body. It starts in her stomach, but quickly outgrows that, until eventually it takes over the entirety of her insides. It has claws. She feels them. Does it have teeth, skin, and hair as well, or is that feathers, or spikes she can feel, butting up against her organs? What is it? It makes a noise, like a lizard or a snake. No one must know about it. She has to keep its presence, its possession of her, concealed. She pulls away from her friends. She refuses to speak in case The It is heard. Then The It tries to escape from her body. She can’t let that happen. She cuts an isolated weird figure at school, trying to live her life ‘normally; but battling to keep The It inside
Grace – Poppy Geden
Sam/Newsreader/Chorus – MJ Faulkner
Grace’s Mum/Student 6/Student 11/Student 17/Chorus – Mia Tovey
Grace’s Dad/Student 8/Student 14/Student 19/Chorus – Tom Evans
Ms Jarvis/Student 3/Student 15/Chorus – Sophia McMullen
Supply Teacher/Student 4/Student 9/Chorus – Lochie Craig
Barrister/Local Mother/Student 1/Student 18/Chorus – Elen Thurston
Student 2/Student 10/Student 16/Chorus – Louisa Harrison
Student 5/Student 7/Student 20/Student 21/Chorus – Dan Hughes
Director – Sabrina Sacco
Director – Liam Hall
In 2020 when the pandemic hit the nation, we knew that performances would not be possible. For a very special group of year 11 students this was soul destroying. Performing arts had always been a crucial part of their school life and something which they identified with. When we heard about the National Theatre Connections programme, this seemed liked the ideal opportunity to still give these gifted group of students an opportunity to perform.
We were lucky that due to these students all being in the same bubble we were able to rehearse initially in person. When Lockdown happened again in January we transferred to online rehearsals. This certainly came with its challenges but these amazing set of students didn’t make it set them back.
Upon our return to the classroom, we started face to face rehearsals. Their commitment to the play has been staggering. In such a difficult time for them in their GCSE year and all the pressures that this normally holds; add to this a pandemic, THE IT has resonated with them so much more than they first realised when they chose it back in the autumn.
We couldn’t be prouder of them. This piece is them. They produced it. Their ideas. Their creation.
We shall miss them terribly as they move on from our school, but we honestly couldn’t have thought of a better way to end their journey with us than being part of our first National Theatre connections programme.