Talent Show 2022
Celebrating our pupils' talents and raising funds for BBC Children in Need
Where do you even begin, with a Talent Show which blows all reasonable expectations of a school production clean out of the water?
Much hard work had already been completed, by staff and pupils, prior to everyone convening for the Technical Rehearsal on Sunday 13 November 2022. It was a day packed with song, music, dancing and laughter, whilst technical arrangements and tweaks were finalised, and vital admin was scribbled and typed at lightning speed.
As show week commenced, nerves took a hold, with the Expressive Arts team sharing some slightly anxious glances and conversations, as a handful of acts withdrew and ticket sales appeared to stall. However, they needn’t have worried!
As Heat 1 rolled around on Tuesday 15 November 2022, the Main Hall was packed, and the cross-section of acts from Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 dazzled and delighted the audience with their competence and skill. Miss Charlesworth and Miss Brace set the tone for the 3 nights with impressive compèring and there was a tangible air of support and camaraderie which permeated both the acts and the audience. This atmosphere of solidarity grew through the week.
Heat 2’s audience raised the decibel level with their support on Wednesday 16 November and the question on everyone’s lips within the Production team was, how on earth are winners going to be picked from this lot? You would have struggled to slide a sheet of paper between all the acts, as the standard rose to new levels in 2022, which nobody with previous experience of these events could ever remember witnessing before. When Mr Bellamy and Mrs Lang closed the evening on Wednesday, all eyes and minds turned to Friday. What a night we were in for!
At 9am on Thursday 17 November tickets went on sale online for the Final the following evening. By 9.15am the tickets were sold out!
Standing room only was not a phrase being bandied about on Friday 18 November; there simply wasn’t any. You either had a ticket or you were watching Mel Giedroyc and Jason Manford at home on your sofa; it was as simple as that! The final exploded in a riot of colour and sound; in a celebration of solidarity, inclusivity and diversity. The singers sang; the dancers danced and the musicians played, whilst the comedian brought the house down! With Mr Clutterbuck and Mrs Davies at the helm, the evening sped by in a series of breath-taking images as we watched 25 acts. We were also delighted to welcome back to the stage a previous winner from our Class of 2022, Joe G, who enthralled the audience with his gymnastic act.
The judges departed to deliberate what looked for all the world to be a series of almost impossible decisions. Whilst the acts and the audience waited with bated breath for the results, they were uproariously entertained by the House Band and a seamless sequence of surprisingly well-polished staff acts.
When the final outcomes were announced, it was no surprise to see several acts sharing the positions of runner-up and winner, across both Key Stages, such was the depth of quality on show.
The show of support for all those awarded, by all those who weren’t, was moving in the extreme, with the victors sharing a special moment of celebration with each other on stage.
As the final note from the band TNT's (overall winners) encore rang out, and the audience universally rose to their feet in a spontaneous standing ovation, one question hung on everyone’s lips: what on earth would we do tomorrow?
Talent Show 2022 Winners: TNT
Key Stage 3 Winners:
Tom C (drummer)
Flo B (singer)
Key Stage 3 Runners Up:
Megan T (piano)
The Rumba Boys (Zac R and Finley M)
Key Stage 4 Winner:
Isabel C (singer)
Key Stage 4 Runners Up:
Nigel B (piano)
Amber F (singer)
Sam W (comedian)
Mrs Gleed, Head of Expressive Arts: 'What a week! Everyone involved in the Talent Show this year has been incredible! From the fantastic Tech Team, the staff acts and of course the pupils who entered the competition, and to top it off, all for charity. Although show weeks can be manic, I really enjoy them, you get to see the spirit of Deer Park. The support that pupils show for each other and the staff, the atmosphere creates a real buzz around school for a long time.'
Mr Cook, Music Teacher, commented 'I was so pleased with how the Talent Show went this year. The quality of the acts was really outstanding. The Talent Show is a big undertaking in the Expressive Arts calendar and takes a huge amount of time to plan and rehearse. Seeing our very talented pupils perform on the stage makes it all worth it though. I was also incredibly impressed with the staff involvement, not only some excellent staff acts performing on the stage, but also supporting us with the event. Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to the pupils in the House Band, Emily, Stan and Gil; they had a lot of music to perform and learn in order to keep the music live, and they did this with great skill and humour.'
Year 9 Parent: 'I just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the Talent Show on Friday night. It was absolutely amazing. We truly were thoroughly entertained and inspired the whole evening.
The acts were brilliant, such amazing talent from the bright, courageous, full of life young people which is beautiful to see, the house and staff band were brilliant and such good role models for the pupils, Mr Clutterbuck getting stuck in and previous pupils entertaining us and supporting the event.
We're lucky to have our son at such a great school. Well done everyone involved and thank you.'
“It was an amazing event, and I’m so glad to have taken part!” Torby (Year 11)
“We were very pleased and surprised to reach the final. Seeing the Year 11s perform is really inspiring to us younger performers.” Lara (Year 8)
“We had a huge boost when the crowd began clapping along. The whole atmosphere was really fantastic!” Coco (Year 9)
One of our former pupils who was part of the judging panel commented: 'It was great fun and amazing seeing all the pupils doing their stuff. They were all so impressive and very passionate about it. I think that reflects how special the Expressive Arts Faculty at Deer Park is!'
Someone said it would be big. Someone else said the Expressive Arts Team were going up to 11 this year. Someone else said “I have no idea what to expect.”
This last someone is me. Well now I do know what to expect. What a week and what a series of evenings! Flowing with talent and enthusiasm from our pupils, steered by the support and guidance from our staff, it was a privilege to watch the Talent Show as a member of the audience during the heats and then to be able to see the acts up close on the Friday night final from the wings.
Our pupils, staff and Expressive Arts team delivered. I was honoured to take the stage at the end and thank everyone involved. This news piece reinforces how proud we all are to be involved in the event. Bringing all the elements together into one professionally produced experience across a week, while cracking on with the day job, is a skill the Expressive Arts team pull off effortlessly; but we know how much work goes into making it look so effortless. Although I thanked people on Friday for all they did to bring us the Talent Show 2022, from the performers to their families and everyone in between, I do want to thank, again, our wonderful Expressive Arts team for going up to 11.
Richard Clutterbuck, Headteacher