Jeremy James Taylor

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Jeremy James Taylor's residency as Director at King's has been a resounding success. Both the Senior School and the Junior School have benefited from his remarkable experience as Founder and Artistic Director of the National Youth Music Theatre. No other director understands youth theatre better than Jeremy and he has worked his magic for us with glorious results. He has managed to direct three major musical productions at King's and given numerous workshops and lessons throughout the six months that he has been here.

The Dreaming by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart was possibly the most ambitious enterprise, with a very large cast of boys and girls from numerous local schools. It packed Collyer Hall for four nights and was an extraordinary tour de force.

Hiawatha, Michael Bogdanov's adaptation of Longfellow's narrative poem, was a middle-school play for the Senior school. This was a highly imaginative production and very timely, as it introduced so many boys to theatre skills that they have been able to bring to their curriculum theatre work. With astonishing production values (a fork-lift truck, a wind-machine, various unheard-of musical instruments, ravishing costumes and authentic looking make-up), Hiawatha was a splendid vehicle for the talent that we undoubtedly have in the middle school.

Jeremy directed Captain Stirrick for the Junior School. It is, understandably, one of his old favourites. The music is based on the ballads of old London by Richard Brett and a book by Jeremy James Taylor and David Scott. It is a shocking and disturbing piece but it was handled here with great skill by all concerned and there were some very fine performances.

Jeremy will almost certainly be back as he has many friends at King's. His legacy will be felt for some time as the boys who have worked for him make their way through the school and bring their newly learnt skills to bear on future productions. I would personally like to thank Jeremy enormously for all that he has done here. It has given me some time to stand back, reflect and admire. He leaves us to direct for Disney in Australia.

I hope that everyone is aware how lucky we have been to have him at King's and what an inspiration it was of the Head master and the Governors to appoint a Director in Residence of such calibre.

PHILIP SWAN Director of Drama, King's College School