Pupils in Years 8 and 9 at Bolton School impressed audiences with their student-devised promenade production of Wonder, adapted from R. J. Palacio’s international bestseller of the same name.
Wonder pulls at the heartstrings with the tale of little August Pullman, following his first year at secondary school. Along the way, the story explores the complexities of school life and growing up while also emphasising how easy it is to hurt people, exploring social diversity and demonstrating how everyone has the potential to ‘choose kind’.
We are lucky to have such talented, thoughtful young people and the means by which to stretch their creative arts experiences – Naomi Lord, Bolton School Boys’ Division Director of Drama
Bolton School Boys’ Division Director of Drama, Naomi Lord, said, “It’s difficult to find suitable superlatives to describe the quality of the cast’s performance when Wonder is the title of the show. The quality of writing, peer-direction and performance were particularly impressive. I’m expecting wonderful things from this talented collective as they progress to senior productions. We are lucky to have such talented, thoughtful young people and the means by which to stretch their creative arts experiences.”
The promenade production used different venues around the Boys’ Division to create a variety of settings. The Great Hall was used for assembly scenes and became the Pullman household. The rear of the hall stood in as a classroom for 100 people, with the cast playing children sitting among the audience to create an authentic ‘classroom’ feel. There was a move to the dining hall for scenes set at lunch, and even the corridors were put to use as the cast travelled the route to their summer camp: the studio theatre, which was transformed into the outdoors with tents, a campfire, and disco ball ‘starlight’.
The three performances of Wonder were a huge success, with appreciative audiences coming away with a real sense of ‘wonder’. Boys’ Division Headmaster Philip Britton and Girls’ Division Headmistress Sue Hincks both offered their congratulations to the cast and crew of the show, as did numerous parents and members of staff on the night and via social media following the production.