The Lent Drama programme was as packed as ever with a wide range of House plays. Mr Nolan directed his own House in The Changeling, one of the great tragedies of the English Renaissance. This was followed by a high octane version of The Lord of the Flies directed for Mr Davis’s by Nick Chambers, the Director in Residence, with movement by Rebecca Steel. Hughie Stanley (RDO-C) took on the role of Jack for Mr Davis’s at very short notice: his performance was one of the highlights of the half. Mr Jonathan Barker’s direction of Our Country’s Good for Mr Martin’s brought grim humour to this bleak tale of transportation. Key for Two, directed by Mr Nick Hulme for Mr Noakes’s provided the light relief of a farce within a set of sugar pink. And Mr Moore’s play Guards! Guards! directed by Mr Andy Saunders took us into the weird world of Terry Pratchet.
There has been plenty of curricular Drama this half, too. A GCSE scripted improvisation by Dan Byam Shaw KS, Hugh Rose (RJM), Charlie Bleach (JDN) and Guy Clark (ASR), was Sent Up for Good in the first week of the half. The two AS Drama divisions performed a series of tragic duologues in the early evening, followed by six of The Canterbury Tales. There were two different productions of Dealers’ Choice by the GCSE candidates, taking us to the very last evening of the half.
The House Drama competition proved a fine contrast of different styles. Mr Broad’s entered Act IV of Chekhov’s The Seagull, directed by Giacomo Sain; Gasping by Ben Elton, directed by Jack Browne was Mr Noakes’s offering; College gave us a thoughtful and ambitious Animal Farm directed by Dugie Young: and Mr Oliphant-Callum’s ended the programme with Neville’s Island by Tim Firth, directed by Alex MacKeith. The insightful and enjoyable adjudication was delivered by former Director-in-Residence, Mr Adam Cross. He commended Charlie Bleach (PB), Ed Philips (RDOC) and Jackie Collins (RDOC) for particularly strong performances, and Dugie Young for his inventive direction. The winner was Mr Oliphant-Callum’s Neville’s Island.
Archie Cornish KS directed a very fine production of The Libertine as an Independent play, drawing powerful performances from his cast. Next half opens with another Independent play, Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp, directed by Charlie Parham OS (GRP). Dr Marco Liviero directs the School Play, Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Farrer Theatre 8.15 13th-15th May) and the Lower Boy Play, directed by Mr Nick Chambers, Director- in-Residence, is Shakespeare’s Cymbeline (Caccia Studio, 8.15pm 17th-19th June)