DRAMA students from a secondary school received rave reviews after a trip to parliament to perform an original play.
Pupils from Bay House School in Gosport visited Westminster to perform How To Be A Girl! – a theatrical piece written by local playwright Zella Compton to mark International Day of the Girl.
Having seen the play earlier in the year, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage invited the all-female cast up to parliament to perform in front of MPs, peers and government officials.
The play takes a darkly comic look at media pressure for young women to look and behave a certain way.
Presented as a magazine, the performance offers a satirical peak between the covers of How To Be A Boy! and highlights the gender discrepancies that are present in modern British society.
Headteacher of Bay House School, Ian Potter, said: ‘The performance is a powerful political piece about the pressures of growing up as a girl in our society, and for the young people to be performing it in the heart of our political system was both thrilling and poignant.
‘It was a real privilege for me as their headteacher to watch them perform so confidently and so well.’
Ms Dinenage said: ‘How To Be A Girl! addresses a really important and challenging issue.
‘It’s unsettling in a really productive way, forcing the audience to confront uncomfortable facts about the way modern society operates.
‘The play addresses matters that are close to my heart.
‘I was really proud to welcome my colleagues to the performance, and am thrilled they were as impressed as me – a number of guests also invited their daughters to the performance.
‘The students showed no sign of nerves, despite the potentially daunting setting.
‘The performance was a fantastic demonstration of the immense talent being developed locally.
‘The cast did fantastically and I’m really grateful for the hard work of everyone involved.’
Staff from the Government Equalities Office, which sits within the Department for Education, were so impressed they invited the cast to return to London to perform at the department.
The performance also won praise at this year’s Totton Festival of Drama – a county-wide competition that took place back in March – where the students were awarded the Trant Trophy.