On the 11th of May the Lower Sixth Form Drama students performed the first of their three Practical elements for their A Level. Three hugely contrasting pieces of theatre that explored a range of themes and ideas as well as theatrical genres, styles and spaces.
Their task was to re-interpret an established text using the methodologies of chosen theatrical Practitioners. These were Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard in the style of Steven Berkoff, My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley in the style of Kneehigh Theatre and Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine in the style of Kneehigh.
We started in the Black Box Theatre in a stark and minimalist set where Max St. John, Max McLay, and Matt Gosper skilfully explored the ideas of fate and probability in a well timed, sophisticated and comical fashion. That paid real tribute to Steven Berkoff.
We then moved to the Speech Hall stage which has been blocked off and converted into an intimate black box of its own with pillows and bean bags for the audience and a fantastical set reminiscent of a dreamlike Arcadia-esque charity shop complete with trapeze. The accomplished performances by Ella Steidle, Antonia Taor, Elsa Hardcastle, and Ruby Dickson was in equal measure dreamlike and nightmarish as they explored the ideas of societal pressure on women and the relationships between Mothers and Daughters.
Finally to the Speech Hall Auditorium that had been adapted into a Folk Festival tent, resplendent with greenery, live music and yes….Morris Dancing! Into The Woods was presented as an irreverent and playful adaptation with rapping, dancing, shadow puppetry and plenty of magic. Arthur Handscomb, Chris Pyle, Chessie Gillott, and Fifi Robinson all brought to life characters from the fairytales and told their fantastical story with clarity and joy.
The evening really was a triumph of theatre and a testament to the hard work and dedication shown by the students.