Over the last two weeks it has been wonderful to hear and see some live drama in our Theatre for the first time since before Christmas as our Drama students had the opportunity to perform the dramatic monologues which they had worked on during lockdown.
On Wednesday 17 March, our GCSE candidates performed short excerpts from plays such as 'The 39 Steps' by John Buchan and 'Second Person Narrative' by Jemma Kennedy, and gave lively and expressive performances. Props and costumes were not allowed and there was no audience, but through the power of conviction and imagination we could see and feel that finally things might be returning back to normal.
Very well done to all the pupils involved.
This week it was the turn of our A level candidates, and Drama teacher Mr Erik Anders wrote the following review:
On Tuesday 23 March, our Upper Sixth Drama students staged extracts from Evan Placey’s play 'Girls Like That', written and set in 2010.
The play follows a group of girls who have grown up together, who have always been there for each other, all the way through infant and junior schools, and then secondary… until, one day, a photo of one of them is circulated on social media. We follow the shifting relationships, the blame, the prejudices, and the excuses, and examine the differences between expectations of males and females.
We hear from some of the protagonist’s ancestors and antecedents who have stood up for fair and equal treatment at various times over the last century, and we are forced to compare the modern girls’ behaviour with their predecessors.
Finally, as they become mothers to their own daughters, the girls’ viewpoint evolves, and the play ends with the line “Us Girls stick together…think you can break through us, Boy? Go on. Just you try.”
The Upper Sixth Drama students each chose a monologue and developed their interpretation of the role largely independently, as we were all working at home. This involved a large amount of independent investigation, practice, and determination in difficult circumstances. The actors applied performance theories and techniques from a range of practitioners, including Stanislavski and Katie Mitchell. They used research, to place their scenes accurately, and imagination, to access the character’s emotions in a believable way.
On the day, the actors created a moving and powerful series of scenes, which collectively were not only emotionally affecting, but also morally challenging. They left the audience with the question “What do girls like us do?”
We look forward to more live performances next term.