Dramatic Performances Explore Conflict
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Year 10 and 11 marked the centenary year of the First World War by performing an extract from R.C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End and a student-devised piece on the theme of conflict. After a term of rehearsal, they put on the performances in front of an audience of parents and friends.
The Year 10 boys watched Journey’s End at the Octagon Theatre to inspire their own performances. The School was then the lucky recipient of the set from this same show, which allowed the pupils to transform the McKellen Studio Theatre into a First World War bunker.
The Year 11 production was comprised of four pieces focussing on different types of conflict. The boys used news footage of 9/11, the poetry of the First World War, Shakespeare’s History Cycle, and the fantasy fiction of television drama to explore the audience’s relationships with conflict. The performance was very well attended and well received. One of the parents commented, “I loved the ‘pop up’ theatre. It was so sensory and intimate. The Year 11 boys speaking in chorus and the physicality of their piece was dramatic – so male and well-placed. They are lucky to be encouraged to express themselves in this way.”
The performance in the round and the addition of projections onto the screens behind the seats, as well as the physical ‘bunker’ set, helped to create this sense of intimacy and inclusion for the audience.