Review: The Fear That Feeds, students from Ipswich Academy

Everyday in the news it seems there are reports of gang fights and violence on the streets of not just the big cities of our country but our towns and villages as well.

Bullying and knife crime are very much a reality of life today – and this collaborative project involving Suffolk Constabulary and the GCSE drama students from Ipswich Academy seeks to explore the causes and raise awareness of the issues involved.

Georgina and Laura were once friends – but there is a new kid in town and she has split the girls with her subtle lies. Innuendo turns to bullying, both physical and cyber using Facebook and Twitter. The families of both girls are unwittingly drawn into the mix and there are tragic consequences for all parties involved.

Written by teacher Natasha Higdon, this is a powerful piece of drama that tells the story with a mixture of dance, movement, poetry and intensely scripted scenes that left a lot of the young audience in tears.

Emotion runs high as the tensions build between the bully and the victim towards the terrible climax.

Gemma Reeve plays Georgina – drawn into the role of bully by her new best friend, played by Cloe Bartrum. Both girls are strong actors and played their roles with great believability.

Amy Collyer as Laura displays a great range of emotion as the victim of their cruelty and all are ably supported by Devon Old-Gooch as younger sister Kersha, Josh Edwards - bravely the only male in the cast - as Jacob and a chorus of six girls who did not put a foot wrong in the intricately choreographed dance sequences.

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Three adults make up the rest of the cast – Natasha and Emma Green play the mothers and Community Support Officer John Hood, who has had a fundamental role in bringing this project together – plays the teacher and the police officer.

This piece works brilliantly as a whole, but there are also some lovely individual moments – an interview in the school office, a stylised version of a computer zombie game and the choreographed climax of the crime itself are just some of the highlights.

The soundscape is evocatively effective, the lighting enhances the action.

This is a well rehearsed, well written and well executed performance that has an extremely powerful message.

Big congratulations to everybody who has been involved both on and backstage for producing an A1 performance.