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Benyon House Evening 2005

Are Benyon ready to rock?

Theale Green, normally alive with the jovial laughter of children, the crinkling of crisp packets and and the thwack of footballs, has been transformed into the “School of Rock”. The bands that are set to perform later tonight are nervously practicing in the music rooms, and are told, “Guitarists, tune your guitars, tune now and tune well”. Last minute dance rehearsals are taking place in the corner, and people are discussing whether Paul’s (enthusiastic) attempts to teach people to act “punk” will have paid off. The hall is starting to fill with parents, teachers and friends. They are all ready to rock, but can Benyon do it for them?

This year’s theme was chosen because of the success of the Jack Black film “School of Rock”, also the namesake of the event. Really, it’s just an excuse to dress up in spandex and wear too much eye-liner, and that’s just the guys. Claire says the theme “is very good, and it inspired a lot of people to take part”, while Kelly decided the theme was the best bit. It’s not just bands that are on show tonight, there’s the brilliant drum solo, as well as Avril Lavigne, and dancing by the AS Dance class (no thanks to certain sound people for holding the music).

While people were fairly certain about the best parts, the worst aspect was divided. Kelly said the auditions were the worst, while Megan didn’t enjoy the disorganisation. At the evening itself, the only downer was the “no expense spared” food, although this was only a minor glitch in an otherwise enjoyable evening. When asked about the worst bit, Claire said “trying to be in 100 places at once is difficult”, and the whole team were certainly very busy, especially Tom, who was so busy being harassed for backing singers and losing CDs that no one got his comments.

Megan, Benyon House Captain, said that the work has been reasonable, partially due to the fact that she could delegate work to other Prefects and people like Paul and Dave, who were just prepared to help. Claire said that the week leading up to the performance had been hectic; mass painting, rehearsing and not being enough space to practice being key problems. Despite all this, Kelly retained her positive attitude; “It’s all good”.

By far the most eagerly awaited factor was “yet to come” - the evening itself. So having seen all the acts, who were the Prefects most looking forward to? Claire said Mrs Lobely’s rendition of Tina Turner would make her evening. Megan, meanwhile, was looking forward to the whole night, and “couldn’t pick”.

Back to the night itself, and the evening certainly opens in the right style; the lights dim, and Freddy Mercury asks, “Is this the real life-is this just fantasy?”. That’s something the bands could be asking themselves as they walk on the stage, particularly The Law and The Cravats, who appear to have brought along most of their groupies for support. Freddy’s question was recalled again as Mr. “Alice Cooper” Kennedy took to the stage – equipped with long hair, frightening boots, and fluffy snake. Meghan and Claire called the bingo and kept up the laughs with their worryingly good impressions of teachers.

So did Benyon transform Theale into the School of Rock? The ringing ears suggest they did.

Written by Jade Hanley. Photos by Rubi Akthar and Jade Hanley. Comments from the Benyon House Prefect team. Thanks again to the sound/lighting people for letting me sit with them.