A full-on live performance schedule at Chiswick School – consider yourself invited

Image above: Chiswick performing arts ‘flashmob’ at the opening of the Dukes Meadows walkway underneath Barnes Railway Bridge

The arts are good for you – it’s official (Well Duh!)

By Tommy Robinson

Recently there has been a lot of chatter on social media surrounding the importance of the Arts in schools; a new report “Arts in Schools” published by the creative organisation “A New Direction” and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and supported by the Department of Education.

The report states that “Arts subjects and experiences have an evidenced role in contributing to improving outcomes for children and young people, providing them with skills for life and skills for work”.

If this is the case, and we believe it is, then Chiswick School is at the forefront of this.

Image above: Poster for 12 at Watermans; Lysistrata for Theatre at the Tabard

A bumper year, and it is still only April

Over the past years we have been a central part of the Arts community in and around Chiswick, performing in plays in local theatres, singing and playing music at the flower market and in churches as well as exhibiting our art work in trees and on walls. We have won awards and been celebrated both nationally and locally.

It’s due to our passion for the arts and our understanding that we improve outcomes for our students that we do so much, and the students are more than willing to join us in this journey.

This year has been a bumper year for us, we have so far produced five plays, five concerts, three dance shows and been part of four community Arts projects.

Four highlights this year have been our production of Lysistrata at the Tabard theatre, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Hounslow Music Service, the unveiling of the designs surrounding the new build by Empire House, and dancing across the new Thames walk bridge by Dukes Meadows.

Lysistrata was the first time our school had hired a professional theatre space and the use of the Tabard was a huge coup for us, as it highlighted the way we see ourselves, not as just a school theatre club, but as a real theatre company. The performance, which played over two nights, was almost sold out and was extremely well received, We have been invited back in July to perform a production of Little Women (details to follow).

Our Music department then produced the incredibly difficult oratoria Gloria by Vivaldi. It was testament to our reputation as a music department that Hounslow Music service came to us to support the performance.

Chiswick voices, the choir who sang with Hounslow Youth Choir, will be performing at Somerville College, Oxford University at the end of April.

Image above: Chiswick School production of Vivaldi’s oratorio Gloria

Out in the community

The designs around the Empire House complex have been a long-term project, starting way back during the lockdown. The unveiling which happened over the summer was the culmination of work produced by 12 of our Art students and will form part of the permanent building once completed.

The Dukes Meadows bridge opening was an opportunity for our dancers to show what they can do. We were initially asked to be the first people to walk across the bridge, but we decided to add a little extra and performed a flash mob which included 40 of our students dancing across the bridge.

Our next production will be “12” an adaptation of 12 Angry Men, performed at Watermans arts centre on 29 and 30 April. Tickets are available from the centre’s box office: www.watermans.org.uk

We will also be performing again at the Chiswick Flower Market and the reveal of the new W4 plinth artwork on Sunday 23 April.

The move to perform outside the school is a conscious decision, to both extend our reach in the community and to show our students what the opportunities in the industry look like.

Image above: Chiswick students performing at Chiswick Flower Market

Coming up …

Later this year we will be putting on our two-week Arts festival with three plays scheduled, Little Women at the Tabard Theatre, and Metamorphosis and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the school.

A dance show, inspired by the event surrounding the disaster at Aberfan and a number of music concerts including our Summer Arts festival.

This year we have been lucky to be shortlisted for National Drama Department of the year, and Drama inspiration Award (in which Mr Robinson won Highly Commended). In addition to this our Music teacher Mr Moxon has been shortlisted for a Pearson New Teacher of the year award, and of course our community award from Chiswick Calendar.

Image above: Tommy Robinson Highly Commended in the Drama inspiration Award category in the Music & Drama education awards

It is very clear that Chiswick School takes the Arts extremely seriously, and unlike the majority of state schools, invests time and effort in it. We believe that it has a profound effect on the students we work with. It builds confidence and resilience and teaches real life skills that can and are used in real life employment.

We understand that the creative endeavours of our students have an effect on how the community sees us, and that can only be a positive thing not just for us, but for everyone.

Dates for yor diary

“12!”- Watermans Arts Center 29th & 30th April 7pm tickets from Theatre box office

Summer Music Concert – 29 June at St Nicholas Church

Summer Arts Festival – 6 July Chiswick School

Charlie! 10th and 11 July – Chiswick School tickets from school box office

Aberfan (Dance show) – 12 July 7pm Chiswick School

Little Woman: 14 & 15 July 7pm Tabard Theatre tickets from Box Office

Metamorphosis- 15 July 7pm Chiswick School