Reminders for Emil and the Detectives cast members

A couple of reminders:

  • All performers must bring their costumes to the ECA session on Tuesday 14th June. Costumes should be on a coat hanger clearly labelled with your name.
  • There is a rehearsal on Saturday 11th June for all cast members who have a named role, plus the Lead Ensemble. This rehearsal will take place in the Sports Hall from 9am to 5pm. Participants should bring a packed lunch.

Less than two weeks to go – exciting times!

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Using theatre for good

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This is a very interesting theatre-based project documented by The Guardian:

Award-winning French photographer Patrick Willocq has recreated the experiences of children who have fled Burundi and Syria using personalised theatre sets. From perilous journeys to the battle to adapt to new environments, these are their stories

See the photos here.

Why study Drama?

There has been increasing buzz in the education world over the past few years about the importance of creativity in schools. Resources such as Ken Robinson’s now famous 2006 TED talk Do Schools Kill Creativity? are frequently used to highlight the importance of equipping students with the skills needed to thrive, survive and succeed in a range of unexpected scenarios – skills that Arts subjects would seem to teach in abundance.

At this time of year many students are thinking about what courses to choose for the next stage of their studies. We offer GCSE Drama and are intending to extend this to AS-Level Theatre Studies next year. Here are some resources to help students and parents decide whether Drama is a subject for them:

14 Ways Being A Drama Kid Can Help You As An Adult – while the focus is very much on American schools where ‘Theater’ is focused on creating public performances, the ideas in this article still apply to the Drama curriculum we offer at Harrow Hong Kong.

Creative people’s brains really do work differently – an accessible look at some of the research behind creativity, which includes this rather striking assertion:

The common traits that people across all creative fields seemed to have in common were an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for complexity and ambiguity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; the ability to extract order from chaos; independence; unconventionality; and a willingness to take risks.

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity – a review of some of the scientific research into creativity.

How frustration can make us more creative – another TED talk; this one focuses on the ways that creativity can be born out of restrictions and problems. Drama and other creative subjects force students to confront mistakes and problems, to embrace frustration and to find creative ways to a range of different solutions.

And finally, two videos which are directly related to the subject choices students face at this time of year. The first video shows the importance of the Arts in education: while the images focus primarily on the visual arts, the voiceover is absolutely relevant to Drama. The second film focuses on the importance of the skills developed through studying GCSE Drama. Both are worth watching.


Assuming it is accredited, our plan is to offer the new AQA GCSE Drama course from next year; you can read the syllabus by following this link. In the meantime, here is a basic breakdown of the way the course is assessed:

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Prep School Production

Rehearsals for the Prep School Production of Emil and the Detectives, which will be performed in June, have begun. The cast of 98 students has spent the first few weeks of the process working through a sequence of workshops which have allowed us to audition them in a relatively unthreatening way, while also introducing the main themes and characters of the play.

A small group of 6 Year 10 students will be assisting with the production, as will Mr Wingate, one of our GAP Tutors.

Casting will be completed by after Chinese New Year, and the full cast list will be posted here in due course.

Year 11 Unit 2 Exam

Earlier this term, the Year 11 GCSE Drama students took part in their second assessed practical exploration, this time focusing on the play Mother Courage and her Children by Bertolt Brecht. This followed on from their Unit 1 exam, which took place last term.

The students spent 6 hours exploring the text from a range of perspectives, focusing on developing their understanding of the play, its themes and its characters. The following day they wrote a documentary response, evaluating their work during the practical exploration.

Daisy Pulls It Off: tickets

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Tickets for this term’s Senior School Production of Daisy Pulls It Off, directed by Lee Collins, will be available from Tuesday 24th November.

Students can pick up their tickets from The Temple at lunchtimes – look out for the sales table at the start and end of lunch.

Parents and visitors can collect tickets from the Upper School Office.

Tickets are free for Harrow Hong Kong students and staff, and cost HK$40 for parents and visitors. Payment for tickets must be by cheque, payable to Harrow International School Foundation Ltd. All proceeds will go to charity.

For further details, please click here.

Don’t forget to watch the trailer: