School Productions are a highlight of the calendar here at Durston House. Annually, there is a production created and performed by the Pre-Prep, the Junior School and the Year 8 boys, each of which celebrates how truly capable Durston boys are.

By having the opportunity to be involved in a production, on or off stage, boys develop confidence, responsibility and team-work. Through playing a part, boys develop empathy, stepping into someone else’s shoes, understanding how another person feels and the motivation for his or her actions. The ability to communicate clearly, engaging with the audience, in a self-assured manner cannot be underestimated. As part of the support crew, quick thinking and reliability are essential. These skills make for good team players, who know that a production is only as good as its weakest link.

Just before Christmas, thepupils in Pre-Prep entertain us with a festive show, which allows each boy to perform on stage, singing and dancing, or for those in Year 2, the chance to act out the main parts. Parents and friends are always ‘wowed’ by the talent shown. A boy’s experience and confidence grows in those years, and by Year 3, he is ready for the demands of the Junior School Production in the Spring Term. Here boys are encouraged to audition for the main parts, so those who feel that their talents are suited to the stage get the opportunity to dazzle. Recent shows have included Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Bugsy Malone and Robin Hood. A boy’s final opportunity to tread the boards comes in Year 8, where his talents are really put to the test. These boys, in the last part of their final year, are given a week to put together a production and are involved in all aspects of it, from programme design to props, lighting to sound, as well as taking to the stage. This challenge, at the end of their Durston journey, allows all boys to showcase their talents and skills, showing all how truly capable they are.