The LEH Drama Llamas take New York!
  • Drama
  • Senior
  • Sixth Form

The LEH Drama Llamas joined the Holles Singers in the atrium at midday, armed with suitcases and passports, ready for an amazing trip to New York. However a combination of two airports, and a plane and coach ride tired everyone out, and by the time we reached our hotel, everyone was just about ready to go to sleep and sort everything out in the morning.

Saturday 14th December

The next morning we all woke up, and took in New York City for the first time as we made our way through Times Square to have breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. After an American breakfast, we all headed to our first real destination: the Christmas market at Bryant Park. It was a brisk walk in the cold morning, but we drama students had cameras out in order to capture the bright blue sky and tall buildings, as well as stimuli for a devising workshop that we would have the next day. It was also a wonderful place to start our Christmas shopping. Once we had regrouped, we witnessed the Holles Singer’s first attempt at a flash mob, before they were asked to move on, and soon after we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the flashy ‘Planet Hollywood’ restaurant. Later in the evening, after the singers’ first official concert, we all became dazzled by the sights of New York from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, and took some incredibly windy pictures from the viewing platform outside.

Sunday 15th December

On Sunday, the Drama Llamas left breakfast early for the amazing experience of going on a backstage tour of the New Amsterdam Theatre. This was personally my favourite activity of the week, mostly because after an incredibly interesting talk on the theatre’s history, and the exciting chance to go and stand on the stage, we were allowed to go to a back room and try on a ton of different costumes that were actually used in real Broadway shows! From Lion King Headdresses to Mary Poppins’ coat, we tried them all! As a fanatical musical theatre nerd, this was thrilling for me. Once we had finished our time slot, we headed up to a rented studio to use the stimuli that we had gathered the day before, under the categories ‘people, places, things’, to devise an ‘advert’ for New York. They all ended up being hilarious. We joined back up with the Holles Singers in the afternoon for ice skating in Central Park, and in the evening, we watched them perform at Radio City Hall as an opening act for the Rockettes’ Christmas show. The Rockettes’ show was incredible, and at one point we looked at each other in confusion as they brought several sheep and a real camel onto the stage.

Monday 16th December

On Monday we left the Holles Singers at the Hard Rock Café and went to visit the 9/11 memorial. It was a very emotional experience and we learnt that a white rose is placed by each name when it is the person’s birthday. We then made our way down Wall St, and after taking photos with the famous Bull statue, we arrived at the Native American Indian Museum. We spent a while looking around at the breath-taking Native American art, before heading out to rejoin the singers on the ferry to Staten Island. The scenery on the ride was beautiful, and on the trip back, some of us couldn’t help but join in as the Holles Singers performed another flash mob.

Tuesday 17th December

Tuesday was a day that everybody was excited about, as in the evening we were all going to see Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. In the morning there was another devising workshop, in which we created pieces based on things that we had learnt the day before. From touching tributes to 9/11 to explorations of Native American History, we covered a breadth of American experiences. Once we were done, we packed up and headed to Macy’s, the largest store in the world, for some shopping. Then we all journeyed together to NYU Tisch, a renowned Drama school in New York, for a talk on the application process. Needless to say, some of us were seriously questioning our supposedly solid life plans… maybe Drama School in New York would be fun?! Afterwards we headed back to the hotel in order to get dressed up for Dear Evan Hansen. It was spectacular, and many people were left with tears in their eyes as we walked back to the hotel.

Wednesday 18th December

Wednesday was the day we left New York City. After our last breakfast at the Hard Rock Café, we took our last trip to see the Vessel. It was very impressive, but unfortunately, some of us missed our opportunity to climb it as it had become too icy. We took cover from the cold inside the mall next door, and spent a few hours browsing and grabbing ourselves lunch. When we all gathered by the entrance to head back to the hotel to collect our packed suitcases, we were met by a brilliant surprise: a blizzard! The flight home was thankfully uneventful as it was quite late, and most of us slept the whole way home, but by the time we were back in England, all of us were longing to return to NYC. It was such an incredible trip.

By Freddi (UVQ)

  • LEH Drama