Henry the Tudor Dude: Rydal Penrhos Celebrates Latest Theatrical Triumph
July 1, 2023

This week, the Rydal Penrhos Memorial Hall witnessed an awe-inspiring spectacle as the latest Year 7 to 10 drama production, ‘Henry the Tudor Dude,’ took centre stage.

Months of dedicated preparation came to fruition as the talented Rydal Penrhos pupils showcased their theatrical prowess, delighting audiences and transporting them back to Tudor England in a rock-and-roll musical extravaganza.

Kjartan Poskitt’s exhilarating play, known for its fun, energetic, and informative nature, shed light on the life of England’s most outrageous monarch, King Henry VIII. The show proved to be a resounding success, leaving the audience captivated from start to finish. The infectious enthusiasm and commitment of the pupils truly shone through their performances.

Undoubtedly, the singing and choreography emerged as standout highlights of the production. From start to finish, the catchy tunes had the audience tapping their feet, with ‘Body Rock’ being an unforgettable earworm. The level of pupil engagement was remarkable, and characterised the true team effort that went into the production.

While every pupil contributed to the success of the play, several individuals delivered truly exceptional performances. Finlay Perry, in the titular role, exuded tremendous energy and dynamism, capturing the essence of the English monarch. Molly Alefounder and Lewis Jellicoe provided comic relief with their impeccable portrayals of Thomas Cranmer and Will the Jester.

Notably, Violet Roberts and Safa Maqsood showcased remarkable acting skills alongside their outstanding singing voices, which had been previously showcased in the Senior Spring Concert earlier this year. A special mention goes to Safa for stepping up and taking over the role of Henry VIII after the interval on the final night. Her ability to seamlessly embody the character without any prior practice was truly impressive.

Such an exceptional production would not have been possible without the dedication and expertise of the teachers and staff involved. Miss Earle’s outstanding direction, combined with the excellent choreography delivered by Mrs Clarke-McLean and Mrs Freeman during the rehearsal period, elevated the performance to new heights. Furthermore, Mr Williams, the gifted musical director, once again brought his magic to the production.

As the final night drew to a close, a group of Year 10 pupils arranged a touching tribute to Mr Williams. They invited him on stage, where he was seated on King Henry’s throne, and sang Abba’s ‘Thank You For The Music’. This emotional moment served as a fitting send-off for the longstanding Music teacher, who will be departing Rydal Penrhos this summer. Thank you, Mr Williams!

The success of ‘Henry the Tudor Dude’ not only demonstrated the talent and dedication of the pupils but also highlighted the vibrant state of drama and the performing arts at Rydal Penrhos. We would like to thank everyone involved in making this theatrical journey an unforgettable experience.