|23 Jun 2020
Mrs Horley first came to Claremont Fan Court as a visiting A level drama examiner, she joined as staff in September 2006, but helped (unpaid) with the much-loved Community Play – The Princess and the Ice-Cold Bath, in June 2006.
“It must have been more like a ‘baptism by fire’ than an ice-cold bath! I have vivid memories of Mrs Horley, on boiling hot Saturdays, in the midst of the Claremont Gardens’ amphitheatre, ’stage managing’, or more correctly, herding, a motley cast of over 85 men, women and children who were totally unknown to her, while at the same time attempting to cope with a similarly unknown and regularly over-heating director!”
That was just the start of nine years’ happy (give or take report-writing!) dramatics together. We inevitably laughed our way through the odd turbulence and got on exceedingly well right from those beginnings in the Gardens to my retirement in 2015. But then Belinda has the gift of building warm relationships with just about everyone crossing her path, be they colleagues, students or parents. This has been of huge benefit to all at Claremont, not just the Thespians; (I’m sure) she will be sadly missed.”
Kenneth Kimber, Director of Drama 2000-2015.
Mrs Horley co-directed her first senior school production The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew in 2007 with former Director of Drama, Mr Ken Kimber, and was responsible for directing the Year 6 productions. In 2011, Mrs Horley directed What a Knight for Year 6, a play she created herself, with well-known musical numbers mostly by Abba. Mrs Horley’s final Year 6 production was Pirates of the Curry Bean performed in 2012.
In 2016 Mrs Horley became head of drama for the senior school, making her director debut with The Sound of Music. The Joyce Grenfell Centre (JGC) has certainly been kept alive with the sound of music under Mrs Horley’s leadership. In 2013, Mrs Horley provided lead vocals for the staff band at Rockfest and she has been an active member of the staff choir. This year’s senior school production of We will Rock You left the production team wondering if they had taken on more than they could manage. However, with the audience joining in with most of the songs, a selection of Queen hits, every night, once again the production was another rip-roaring success.
Mrs Horley is leaving Claremont to join Kingswood House School, Epsom, where she will be the part-time Head of Drama.
“I will thoroughly miss working closely with Mrs Ashlee, Mr Affonso and all the wonderful students, staff and parents that I have had a privilege to work with over the many wonderful years at Claremont.” Mrs Belinda Horley.
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