After claiming a narrow victory in the trial Illumination, last June, over the rival pair Magnus McGrigor (C2) and Alice Campbell (MO) (who we sweetly named Malice), we set out on our quest to provide another year of magnificent student led entertainment. With large expectations from peers and staff alike we wanted to find the most enlightening and adventurous display of acts that had ever been showcased at Marlborough. We prepared ourselves for a long strenuous week of auditions…. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be, as only one person turned up for the entire two hour session. He was actless, clueless and terrified. All he had was his glasses and a heart full of hidden ambition. Yet sure enough Aaron Ngo (B1) was to become our star talent, revealing himself to the school as our first ever stand up comedian.
Despite the initial set back, we managed to pull together an entertaining first performance with acts such as morph suit drummers (Adam Azhari (CO) and Alex Eatough(C2)), Ukulele/ Banjo players (Chris Wilmot (B1), Charlie Perry (B1), Georgie Howes (MM), Emily Taplin (MO)) and a documentary about our very own 5th Team Rugby also known as the God Squad (now with over 1000 hits on youtube). For a first performance the audience seemed to find it relatively amusing, even if they were laughing at us rather than with us!
The pressure was on for round 2. Except this time due to the school play amongst other things, what we had done in three weeks was now done in 3 days. Yet after a great deal of late night coffee drinking and frantic emails, we scraped together some Christmas themed surprises. So sure enough we turned up for the technical rehearsal at 7.15pm on a December evening with a view of starting at 9.10pm. Variation is what we were aiming for and “varied” is what it was, ranging from the resident professional cup stacker, (Thor Kverndal (C1)) to the parody of the popular TV show Made in Chelsea and finishing off with an amazingly talented Malaysian dance group performing an act they call ‘Fighting Gravity’.
Our growing experience paid off in the most recent Lent term show, where we decided to read out spoof valentine’s cards in between each act from Marlborough’s secret love network. The acts were short and sharp, with highlights from the Elmhurst’s Upper Sixth music video inspired by the boy band One Direction, followed by Cosima Baring (LI) (accompanied by Oliver Fairweather (SU), Tom Stafford (C1) and Stuart Swift (C2)) and our first miraculously entertaining sketch (including Harry Humphreys (C2), Tom Lynas (LI), Ella Atterton (MO), Dora Taylor (NC) and Sam Guinness (BH)).
It’s been a fabulous year for talents of all shapes and sizes. We can’t believe it’s gone so fast. To quote Dora, "I’ve loved every second". We hope next year’s chosen two will enjoy the incredible experience as much as we have and continue to display the wonderful talents and the very often hidden flair here at Marlborough. However, our journey is not yet over - there is one final hurdle yet to complete. Rumours are spreading; gossip is circulating; all we know is that it will be the best Illumination Marlborough has ever seen, which suits the occasion, as it will be the pupils' way of saying thank you and farewell to our inspiring Master, Mr Sampson.
Dora Taylor (NC U6) and Will Addison (B1 U6)