‘How to Apply to Heaven’ was a play written by Shimali de Silva in Year 12 and performed by Caught in the Act, a group of Year 10-12 students. It considers what humanity might face should Heaven be proven to exist and accepting candidates. Described as a “satire for the college application process”, the play delivers a spectacularly engaging performance well worth your Friday afternoon.
There is a character for everyone—Pops, the quintessential know-it-all who is perfectly suited to the system, Fizz, who is having an existential crisis about the whole Heaven shebang, and Benny, who is getting overwhelmed by the stress of it all—and each manages to slip in witty one-liners and ironic biblical references in the name of pure, unadulterated entertainment. Nothing short of cleverly endearing and original, Fizz dancing in a hula skirt was definitely the highlight of the evening.
Claudia Joynt, who took the stage as Pops, added, “Shimali wrote the scenes bit by bit—she didn’t write the whole thing in one go—so we had a cast already while she was writing it.” As a result, each character fit the actor seamlessly: “Like Teacher Bivell—Hoi Ching was perfect for that. Or Benny Kravitz—Alex was amazing in that role. Malcolm as well.”
However, the team did encounter some obstacles along the way. When the Year Elevens had their iGCSE Mock Exams, they needed to exert even more effort into rehearsals in order to make the most of their time. “We re-arranged everything to make sure we could all be together in one place at one time,” Alex Harfitt explained, “and just made sure it all worked. We came together, we stayed on task, we did what we could, and it’s all worked out.”
Furthermore, the drama’s success would not have been possible without the unyielding determination and passion of the students. When asked about any surprises she had, de Silva stated, “I was incredibly surprised that half of you [the cast] didn’t leave after the third session, because, you know, I’m just another student and it’s very weird for me to be directing you guys, and to have you listen to me.” Though they relied not a member of staff, but themselves for motivation, they still persisted in their weekly rehearsals, and resolved that “what came out in the end wasn’t really what mattered, but the fact that we cared about what came out in the end really mattered.”
Meet the crew!
Elena Jim 11G2