The SPS German department was delighted to host our inaugural German Theatre Festival in the Dorfman Theatre last Thursday 1 February.
Students from seven schools, including SPS, City of London Boys’ School, City of London Girls School, Graveney School, Woodford High School and Gordon’s School performed extracts from existing or self-devised plays in the German language. The atmosphere was terrific and all the schools brought something new to the table. It was wonderful to see the German language being celebrated in this way, particularly a time when the number of students studying German at A-level is at an all-time low nationally.
We were lucky enough to be joined by a very distinguished panel of judges comprising Hannah Kaip (Librarian & Education Manager from the Austrian Cultural Forum), Catherine Smale (Senior lecturer in German at King’s College London), Katrin Kohl (Professor of German at Jesus College Oxford) and Andrea Pfeil (Deputy Director of the Goethe Institute London). Prizes were generously donated by the Austrian Cultural Forum, Kipferl Austrian bakery and the Goethe Institute as well as the SPS Partnerships department.
At the interval all the students, teachers and judges were able to enjoy an authentic German Abendbrot, with bread rolls (with cheese and cold cuts) and cakes provided by Hansel & Brezel bakery in Ham. Whilst the judges were deliberating, we were all entertained with a virtuosic performance of Wagner’s Romance by Richard (Lower Eighth). The judges had their work well and truly cut out and looked suitably stressed out when trying to decide which prizes to award. It took eight people to carry all of the prizes out onto the stage at the end for the prize giving.
Our SPS team, comprising director Nick Groeller (Lower Eighth) and actors Sam (Sixth), Charlie (Lower Eighth) and Max (Lower Eighth) were truly exceptional, performing an extract from Die Physiker (Dürrenmatt). None of our actors are native speakers, and when you consider that they have only been learning German for 2 ½ years in the case of Sam and 3 ½ years in the case of Charlie and Max, you will appreciate how incredible they really were. They won the award for the best interpretation of a text for performance jointly with City of London Boys, who also performed an extract from the same play which ended just a page before our scene started.
It was a truly joyous evening and the visiting schools are very keen for us to run the event again next year.
Head of German
Recordings can be found below.