In a marathon performance that brought audiences to tears of sadness and joy, Doha College students displayed some extraordinary talent. This year's production very poignantly tackled matters that impact teenagers the most, such as body image, relationships with parents, career choices, healthy living, dealing with change and more.
Student Nasreen Hago commented on her experience on stage: "I played Dee Dee, a Year 9 student from a troubled background. The character is so different from who I really am, so by playing her I discovered parts of me I never realised I had. I am now in Year 13 and I have been in every drama production for the last five years. This is my last performance and I have mixed emotions; I will miss being part of the team, the camaraderie is incredible. You get to mix with students across Secondary and we have such fun. I am off to university this summer to study Law, where I will definitely use my drama skills!"
Playing the part of the Head Teacher was Harry Golby, who told us: "It was great playing Mr Tippins; many people ask me where I took my inspiration from – well, that would be telling! No, really it's from a variety of past head teachers I have known… it's great being able to shout at the students and delegate to the deputy! I am in Year 12 now and studying Drama at AS level. I really hope to study Drama at university in either London or New York next year."
Head of Drama Mrs Jane Williams was in charge of nearly 100 students on stage and another large team backstage. She said: "Skin Deep is a show dealing with a range of teenage issues around healthy eating, peer pressure and body image among others. I originally wrote this script with some year 13 students for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. All the musical score is also original, written by our talented musical director Mr Andy Allpass. The characters our students play are all fictitious, but unfortunately these issues do happen at schools and will affect young people, and I hope that through drama we can explore these concerns."
Despite its length and numbers involved, the production easily kept the audience absorbed and oblivious to the passage of the 3-hour fast-paced emotional tides.
Dr Steffen Sommer, Doha College Principal, was equally enthralled with the show and added: "What an incredibly polished performance. Everything went seamlessly, perfectly timed and crafted – a credit to our Drama Department and our hard-working students."
Mrs Rani McGunigle, visitor and friend of a Doha College parent, declared herself very pleased with her spectator's experience, saying: "It's a remarkable deal for the money. It was a very professional performance and great to see such talent on the stage. Well done to all the students."
Parent Mrs Gayle Nelson summed it all up perfectly commenting via social media: "It was a fantastic production. I laughed, cried, booed and cheered. Very thought provoking and enjoyable. Wee Alice... you made me cry! Fabulous performance."
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