Pupils from across the Foundation performed their own play at a sell-out show during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe earlier this year, which received outstanding reviews.
The eight creative sixth formers from across the Foundation, came together to form this year’s ‘Siege of Herons’ theatre company. ‘Siege of Herons,’ wrote and devised the play, 1518, along with support from a former LSF pupil, Hamza Ali.
1518 reframes the story of the ‘dancing plague,’ a mysterious epidemic that gripped the city of Strasbourg during the 16th Century. People filled the streets dancing uncontrollably day after day until they died from exhaustion, an event that still puzzles historians to this day.
By creating their own interpretation of this mass hysteria, Siege of Herons blend their particular experiences with the historical events to present their personal conflicts as a group of young people coming of age in 2023, whilst discovering shocking parallels between 1518 and today.
Loughborough Schools Drama pupil Victor said: “Our fringe experience started long before its showcase in August. Once a week after school we would meet for a rehearsal and the way in which Hamza treated us like adult professionals was so refreshing. It allowed us as group to really trust Hamza and his creative vision.
One thing that was vital in 1518 was the sense of ensemble, getting to know and work with a group for such a long time allowed for seamless teamwork and created a safe space devoid of judgement. I think this was cemented in the time we spent together outside the show, sharing student accommodation where we cooked ate and spent free time together. I had the most amazing experience that I’ll never forget.”
Loughborough Grammar School Alumnus (2008-2016) Hamza Ali said: “The pupils well and truly dug deep and gave it their all in every aspect of the work. They rose to the challenge and created and performed to a very high standard. As the director I had the massively rewarding experience of watching both the performance and the performers grow and develop side-by-side. This gave me an immense sense of pride when the cast got up on stage in Edinburgh and smashed every show, garnering an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences and critics.”