Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Too Much Elbow Grease!

Children are under increasing pressure from homework, studies and the impending reality of their GCSE exams. However, they still have to work hard at pursuing their dreams and prioritizing the subjects they feel best at. At my school, the Year Ten students were all required to take part in the Christmas Production of ‘Grease,’ and the students were all thrown into pandemonium-induced rehearsal schedules and chaotic costume changes. This took away time from other subjects. As a student, how important is it to do the play and are the plays really beneficial to students?

I asked a fourteen-year-old student named Anya Miron who participated in the show how if she enjoyed the process. She was quick and eager to say she “enjoyed it so much. It was beyond exciting and the adrenaline rush you got was the best feeling.” However, a number of other girls including myself found the lengthy rehearsals, sometimes until 22:30 on a school night, stressful and tiring. This student shared her agreement with, “It was incredibly tiring and I felt like giving up many times.”

This led me to expand my knowledge by asking if the tiredness previously mentioned was worth it in the end. She described, “100% it was worth it, it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.” She speaks of being grateful; one of the main benefits being that it “built more friendships.” She goes even further in this enthusiasm to say she “wouldn’t change the long nights and stress for anything.”

Since Miss Miron seemed so intent on the process being worth the end result, I asked her to talk about what performing means to her. She responded, “Performing in front of everyone is one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. You’re heart beating, blood rushing but smiling through the whole time.” She recalls the mixture of tense “nerves and excitement” but went on to express how they “mix together and everyone is eager to get on stage…” She eventually rounds off by describing being on stage as her “favourite feeling in the world.”

So, is the stress worth it? Another student who wishes to remain anonymous declared her “stress mounted” and she “was under so much pressure from other teachers for additional subjects.” However, she also said she would “readily do it again to feel the joy and exhilaration and make lifelong friendships.” She also stated the following about drama: “As someone who wants to pursue musical theatre, it helped boost my confidence.”

In conclusion: life is hard. We all know that this will become apparent when we transition to “adulthood”, and sometimes it is good to be pushed, to near our full capacity. Working under pressure is certainly a skill that we all need to develop if we are to be successful in our professional and person lives, at least we got to do it amongst friends, amidst laughter and knee-deep in elbow grease.

Isabella Beling