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All the incredibly niche moments from GCSE Drama that permanently altered our brain chemistry

Every single devised piece was either about drugs, teenage pregnancy, alcohol or all three


Let’s be real for a moment: The moments spent in that GCSE Drama classroom still haunt us all. It was the option we all chose because we all thought it was an easy choice, but instead you got stuck in a room for four hours a week with some of the most intensely terrifying people of your life (who, face it, had been dancing competitively since the age of three, were all incredibly bitchy and are now studying nursing). You had to write the longest coursework essay of your life and take an exam on Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Frankenstein, in which he was fully naked.

You were fourteen. If this doesn’t scar you for life, I don’t know what would.

Explaining why you wore white shoes in a performance

It didn’t matter that your nice white trainers had been the only decent ones clean for your performance exam, when it came to writing your reflective essay, you had to justify exactly why you had made that costuming choice. And frankly, “because my mum told me to” wasn’t going to cut it. Whether they symbolized innocence, snow or some other complete nonsense, they definitely weren’t because your school shoes had got coated in mud on the way to the bus stop the previous day.

Delivering a monologue to a hatstand wearing a school tie

Sometimes you didn’t have a scene partner, but just needed a guide on somewhere to look! So, you delivered a very emotional breakup speech from Love and Money by Dennis Kelly to a hatstand. And do you know, that’s just fine. It didn’t leave you with an inability to make eye contact whilst ending a relationship, nope, no way.

That one student who refused to act so did the lighting

It was always that one kid who thought they were a little bit cooler than everyone else. The idea of sitting in the lighting booth, being raised physically higher  just raised their ego. They could control who got the spotlight – literally. It gave them a sense of power that was unparalleled. No one ever thought to tell them that they were always a little bit strange and always had a musty sort of smell from the hours spent up there, however.

Getting to yell obscenities in a school classroom

It was always that one kid who thought they were a little bit cooler than everyone else. The idea of sitting in the lighting booth, being raised physically higher  just raised their ego. They could control who got the spotlight – literally. It gave them a sense of power that was unparalleled. No one ever thought to tell them that they were always a little bit strange and always had a musty sort of smell from the hours spent up there, however.

Getting to yell obscenities in a school classroom

There was always one who refused to participate in class, and never said a word, but then on the day the examiner came in, delivered a flawless Mickey from Blood Brothers in a perfect Scouse accent. It was a one off. You never heard them do anything like it again. You found out on results day they got a 9 and wondered where they had been hiding that talent, and why they hadn’t been showing off constantly, because if it had been you, you definitely would have been.

Being assigned performance groups and hating who you were put with instantly

The lucky ones would always have their friends in their groups, and would get to muck around for a term. If you were really unlucky, you would get someone who was really serious about the subject and would actually force you to do the work, and you’d have to resign yourself to a term of turning up to lunchtime and after school rehearsals.

Forced involvement with the school musical

One GCSE choice meant you had to help backstage on the world’s worst production of Annie. And then someone was ill, and you were drafted in as an extra orphan. The flashbacks haunt me.

Being given a list of topics to do your devised piece on and drugs and alcohol inevitably being on there

@jackjos3ph

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♬ original sound – Jack Joseph

The day rolled around when you were told it was time to create your own theatre. Your topics: STDs, teen pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, and drink driving. None of us were of the legal age to do any of those things. I’m not sure what the exam boards think 14 year olds were getting up to in 2017 but I was busy thinking about getting braces.

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