‘And The Crowd Goes Wild’ – Heritage Project involving male students from Tavistock College

This week Performing Arts students and ex students had the opportunity to experience being voice over artists for a heritage project. We were approach by artist Laura Hopes in search of young male voices who could bring to life the testimonies of young men in a Young Offenders Institute, as their voices are prohibited from being recorded for legal reasons, for an installation art project. The project aims to ‘celebrate the value of sport and physical activity revealing the (largely) hidden histories of this idea through research at one particular institution – Portland Stadium Bowl’. Laura interviewed many young offenders about their lives, physical activity and specifically football, and their verbatim text was used by sixth formers Joseph Crosher, Ashton Jones, Zachariah Richards and form Performing Arts students Archie Allen and Caleb Prouse. As the Performing Arts technician Caleb also provided all the technical support for the voice overs. The performers were commended by Laura for their professional approach to the work and their vocal skills and are looking forward to seeing the final product. The project ‘And The Crowd Goes Wild’ will be shared with local schools, libraries, local history groups, and most importantly, inside the YOI. Screenings of the film will also be included within B-side’s 2020 festival programme on Portland.


Information from the artist


And the Crowd Goes Wild – Portland Stadium Bowl Heritage Project


This heritage project will celebrate the value of sport and physical activity and explore the concept of reform, revealing the (largely) hidden histories of this idea through research at one particular institution.


The majestic site, usually closed to the public, is monumental and surprising in its scale, and through it we are made aware of its industrial past, as the quarry whose stone built the Borstal itself and the surrounding village, the attendant histories of prisoners of war in the quarry’s initial stages. Its transformation by the Borstal boys into the stadium, under the direction of the PT instructor, Burt Bridges is shown in the beautiful archive photography held at the Grove Prison Museum, depicting Sports Day events for ‘the boys’, and the gleaming white Portland stone a backdrop for the carefully levelled terraces, pitches and pavilion. 


In the publication and film work, Laura plans to share the collections of objects, images and documents in the museum’s archive and the opening up of the site during the festival period to the general public. Football kits, team photos, boots, banners and balls are just some of the artefacts held in the museum, and each becomes a sort of touchstone revealing the histories and memories entangled with the stadium, and the histories of people and communities which have accrued around the site, YOI officers and their families, kids who snuck onto the pitch to furtively play football, those inside the YOI now denied access to the stadium. 


Through collecting oral histories, the totemic power of these artefacts can be transferred into powerful stories and memories that activate this site permanently and can be disseminated more widely through the communities than merely opening the site for a week can. The action that pushes the gate ajar, the publication and film then wedge open.


Following the collation and editing period for the publication and film, Laura will share the results with local schools, libraries, local history groups, and most importantly, inside the YOI. Screenings of the film will also be included within B-side’s 2020 festival programme on Portland.

Year 7 Performing Arts student success!

This is Year 7 student Oli Houlberg who after a tough round of auditions will be performing as one of the regional cast in Nativity The Musical at The Theatre Royal, Plymouth! Surprisingly shy, Oli may appreciate some one to one congratulations and we are very excited to have him in the Faculty!
Eva Pearson

Music Success

All students at the College are welcome to take extra private music lessons with one of our peripatetic music team. Students can choose from Piano, Singing, Drums, Woodwind, Brass, Guitar or Bass and alongside their teacher whether or not they wish to work towards graded examinations. In the summer several students were successful in both Piano and Theory of Music examinations gaining Merits and Distinctions across the board. Pictured here are Ben, Charlotte and Theo with Piano, bass and Theory of Music teacher Dan Hiscott. Please contact j.lambert@tavistockcollege.org  if you would like more information on these lessons.

Ex-Student at The Wharf

Sam Brockington, ex Tavistock College student and now professional musician, returned to Tavistock to play at The Wharf as part of his European tour. Back from Paris and Copenhagen, amongst other places, and before his last show in London he played a one night gig alongside his band (also including ex College student Oli Larcombe-Moore) to a crowd connected to Tavistock, some who had travelled from as far as Bristol to see him. The gig was particularly special as the supporting acts also had connection with Tavistock College – Ronnie Cooke, guitarist and singer songwriter who now studies Music at Falmouth and Live Allen who is studying Music in Year 10 currently at College. Ronnie was keen to point out that he wouldn’t be doing what he now does and loves without the Music teaching he received at the college. Liv did a fantastic, lively set full of well known popular songs; she chatted to the audience and encouraged them to take to the floor. Her confident and relaxed approach alongside her strong vocal and guitar skills made for a great start to the evening and some very proud Performing Arts teachers!

Spring Concert

On 14th March 2018 Year 12 Music students at Tavistock College organised a charity concert in aid of SKRUM. A large supportive audience watched, listened and joined in as students from year 7 through to 13 entertained with an eclectic mix of musical performances; from Year 11 Music GCSE examination compositions to solo covers of popular songs, from the college’s ever present Jazz Band and VOX showing off its new members to the final performance from the exiting Year 13s. The evening was sewn together with triple bill performances from the Year 12 organisers, compared by them and met with rapturous rounds of applause and shouts of ‘Bravo!”. The concert raise £150 for SKRUM which supports young people in Swaziland as they battle with the highest rates of the HIV/AIDS infection in the world. Through the core values of Rugby SKRUM aims to educated, inspire and offer hope to the youth of Southern Africa. Students and staff from Tavistock College will travel to Swaziland in the summer to work with SKRUM.

9th Degree Theatre Company – Mythfits

The 9th Degree Theatre Company shared their first production in The Play Station Studio theatre at Tavistock College this week. Established by Year 12 students at the college the company sets out to ‘tell old tales to new folk’ and launched their company with their self-created piece ‘Mythfits’. The piece of musical theatre was entirely crafted by the students with each taking on performance roles as well as marketing, script writing, costume and stage management. Head of Creative Arts at the college, Eva Pearson said ‘Im so impressed by their creative work ethic, they have tirelessly improvised, scripted, choreographed, composed and created a hugely enjoyable, very funny community piece. I can’t wait to see what they go on to do after such a promising start!’. The company’s next venture will see them reworking so classic scripts in the Summer.