Junior pupils from Faulkner’s and Shell staged their version of Georgia Christou’s Bright. Young. Things. The play was originally part of a series written for the Tonic Theatre Company in which playwrights were given a brief to write a large cast play specifically for performance by young actors with mainly, or entirely, female casts and in which female characters are no less complex or challenging than the male characters. This contrasts with a lot of older plays which tend to be quite male dominant. For the Bradfield production, a few roles were reversed from female to male, usually, it is the other way around, to accommodate rotating principal casts.

Bright. Young. Things. explores the issue of competition. As Director Rosie Davies wrote in her programme notes: “The concept of competition between youngsters has been present since day one and can be a divisive belief at the best of times. Competition can be seen, and is in most cases, a healthy way of showing achievement, rewarding hard work, and celebrating dedication to something you love. However, it can be taken too far, and people lose sight of the overall goal and this is when competition becomes unhealthy.”

With a cast of twenty pupils drawn from the two Junior year groups, the production explored its themes against the backdrop of a fictitious quiz show for teenagers searching for that elusive child genius. It is disingenuous to single out any one performer for individual praise when the entire cast worked so hard, but credit must go to Immi (K) and Jennie (M) for their leading role as Rochelle. Angeline (J), Amelie (M), and Jemima (I) provided able support as the demonic trio of Producers with a lovely comic turn from Flo (J) as Frankie, their long-suffering floor manager. Harry (A) and Barnaby (A) also deserve recognition for their roles of Rochelle’s dad and Neil Pullover respectively as should Charlotte (LI) be credited for her power pose.