Aylesbury school students write and star in their own play tackling sexual harassment

The show was written by the students over Zoom during lockdown

By James Lowson
Monday, 21st March 2022, 4:31 pm
Updated Monday, 21st March 2022, 4:32 pm

A group of Aylesbury secondary school students performed their co-written jukebox style musical to an audience of roughly 120 people.

Three enterprising Aylesbury High School pupils wrote the play over lockdown, it carried a powerful message too, being centred on sexual harassment.

Called Daisy Chains, the topical production, was written by three year 11 students, Hannah Bush (16), Hattie Foden-Ellis (16) and Elysia Drew (15).

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Hannah Bush, Hattie Foden-Ellis, and Elysia Drew performing their very own play at Aylesbury High School

They all starred as Emma, Billie and Lena, who each encounter different aspects of sexual harassment and abuse as they stumble through life as young adults.

The three students’ thought-provoking, and yet laugh-out-loud musical, borrowed shows-stopping songs from the girls favourite musicals.

It also tackled the challenges faced by women, girls and people from other marginalised genders in trying to live a safe fulfilling life.

Already, the West End-inspired play has raised almost £500 for Our Streets Now, a national movement campaigning for women's rights.

They even put together an excellent poster

Our Streets Now's mission statement reads: “to end public sexual harassment and secure the right for women, girls and marginalised genders to be safe in public spaces”.

The girls chose this charity as it relates to the issues dealt with in their musical but also to their own, and many others’ lives and experiences.

The girls explained that a year into the pandemic and restricted to Zoom calls, they had been choreographing, singing and dancing to their own favourite musical theatre tracks when the first draft of ‘Daisy Chains’ was created.

At first it was nothing more than a compiled list of yet more of their favourite songs but, in the wake of the Sarah Everard murder, they went on to construct their story around them.

Mic'd up and on stage

Their character names were also inspired by feminist figures from the last century including Emmeline Pankhurst, Billie Jean King and Emma Watson.

Aylesbury High School accommodated this ambitious project giving the girls rehearsal space and providing the venue for a major show.

Other students also got involved, acting as a backstage tech team for the event organising professional looking sound, music and lighting for Aylesbury's newest musical.

Reports from the debut show state, the girls received a standing ovation and moved many members of the audience to tears.

Hannah and Hattie plan to take A Level drama at AHS next year while Elysia has earned a place at the Emil Dale Performing Arts Academy.