A new teen comedy filmed and directed in a South London school using its teachers, pupils and alumni in the production will premiere this weekend.
7 Hours on Earth, set in Graveney School in Tooting and crewed by determined students, re-works Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a wildly entertaining school caper with a twist of science fiction.
Directed by TV director turned English teacher Patricia Sharpe famous for directing School’s Out and Rainbow, it is produced by her and fellow media teacher Andy Lamont.
The film stars many of the school’s students, including Ramona Marquez (Outnumbered) who acts alongside her real-life dad Martin Marquez (Hotel Babylon) and Karl Queensborough who plays the lead role in Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Many of the young cast are unknowns but since the filming some have taken their first steps into acting careers.
The film begins when aliens download into a school and must try to make sense of teenage love.
It baffles them but they use their super-powers to invent an app to try to make everyone happy.
As they have never had emotions or bodies before, they unfortunately make everything much worse.
All this happens in 7 hours in the run-up to a dreadful school play which threatens disaster.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s most chaotically comic work, this crazy, bitter-sweet film captures the pain of young relationships and adolescence from students who are currently living it.
Patricia Sharpe said: “It was really hard graft and great fun to shoot. Then in the editing we realised a miracle had occurred – up to then we were thinking ‘Have we actually got anything here?’”
After 23 years in TV production, Patricia trained to be a secondary school English teacher.
She has worked at Graveney School in Tooting for 16 years.
Patricia developed her idea of modernising A Midsummer Night’s Dream and setting it in school.
She said: “I never dreamt my two great work-pleasures – teaching and film-making – could come together in such perfect synchronicity.”
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