Upper II and ‘Olivia!’

Blended learning at its best.

Miss Snell, Miss Westley and Mrs Cattigan organised a truly triumphant and exuberant event that was Upper II’s production of ‘Olivia!’.  With blended learning at the fore and participation from cast both at St Augustine’s Priory and at home, this was a production that excelled both in acting and production values.

Miss Snell reports,

‘We were so delighted that Upper II had the opportunity to do a socially distanced production of Olivia!  by Malcolm Sircom. We hit the ground running with rehearsals after half term, after having hit the pause button. The performance included live stream performances from pupils at home and Poppy Powell, who played the Fat Lady, sang operatic tunes which travelled from her computer screen to the hall that stopped us all in our tracks! 

The play is a twist on Oliver Twist! Olivia (Olivia McKenna/Sophia Wazir/Vanessa Saud) an orphan, finds herself in the mean Mrs Murdstone’s (Momona Miwa) Orphanage before escaping to London. There she meets well known characters from Victorian England such as George Bernard Shaw (Alice Mackay) who spot’s Eliza Doolittle’s (Marie Helene Whyle/Evie Fazel) potential. Olivia has many adventures along the way. Mrs Dilber (Ariana Pourgourides) takes her under her wing at the Poor School for Girls; her motto is ‘charity starts at home’. When Olivia meets Fagin (Phoebe Phillips/Kate Story) and Dodger (Amba Sehgal/Ilona Piesakowsksa), she becomes the star in a new and satirised Gilbert and Sullivan show. She even makes an impression on Ebenezer Scrooge (Sunny Shen/ Jasmin Bhudia) with her gumption! Annie (Salma Kamar/Lara Ward), one of the flower sellers, has trouble remembering her past but Eliza introduces her to Sherlock (Clara Simpson Tarling) and Watson (Bella Ferrari), who eventually unravel the mystery. 

The girls sang their hearts out and made an excellent ensemble, setting the scene for new locations and bringing Victorian England to life. Everyone was involved with the action and added to the telling of this tale. We were very lucky to have the help of Siya Sehgal and Emma Thal, who dedicated their time to paint signs, come up with dance routines and everything in-between! We also had the kind support of Emilia Beitverda and Scarlett Morris on lighting. 

The girls showcased their immense talent and gave it all that they’ve got. They really shone and we are so delighted that they had the opportunity to do so. There were truly outstanding performances and we urge you to enjoy the film of the show if you haven’t already, which went out on the evening of Thursday 9th July.

As you can imagine, this blended performance presented technical challenges and we were very reliant on Estates and IT staff for their help, to whom we are very grateful. Thank you! 

Well done all!’