‘AS Drama students presented their monologues and ensemble performance to a visiting examiner and live audience on Thursday 12 May.
The skill and dedication shown by the candidates made for a gripping evening from start to finish. Gabriel Cox (Lower Sixth, Vanbrugh) began proceedings as Alan Strang from Equus by Peter Shaffer, sensitively portraying a young man trying to explain his equine obsession to his psychiatrist. Mia Biles (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne) gave a powerful performance as Miss Julie from Miss Julie by August Strindberg, attempting to re-establish status over her lover and servant, while Laurence Scott’s (Lower Sixth, Swift) touching interpretation as Bedlam from The Roses of Eyam by Don Taylor was both humorous and sorrowful. Ellie McBride’s (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne) rendition of Medea from Medea by Euripides gave the audience a glimpse into the unhinged mind of a woman scorned and Elizabeth Allen’s (Lower Sixth, Vanbrugh) commanding delivery as Abigail Williams from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible made it clear why the character has so much power in the play. Dr Faustus from Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe was Arthur Blake’s (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne) choice, portraying a desperate man whose hour of reckoning with the devil draws ever closer. In complete contrast, Hannah Deacon’s (Lower Sixth, Queen Anne) lonely, dog-obsessed Doreen from Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn kept the audience laughing and Ardan Devine (Lower Sixth, Queen Anne) drew gasps from the crowd in his intensely moving portrayal of Roger from Room to Let by Paul Tucker who wreaks revenge on his father after years of unspoken heartache.
The Shed was the venue for the ensemble performance of Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse. Set in the Ministry Institution, the audience were allowed into the weird world of lost souls, office politics and shattered lives. Ineptly run by idiotic Mr Roote (Ardan Devine) the staff find themselves snowed in on Christmas day. Unable to escape the unbearable heat due to the heating being jammed, the employee’s increasingly bizarre behaviour leads to the unveiling of some hidden secrets, torture, revenge and mass murder. Mia Biles and Laurence Scott were frighteningly convincing as the repulsive and intimidating Lush and Hogg, providing a stark contrast to the neurotic Miss Cutts (Ellie McBride), who was midway through a nervous breakdown and Lobb (Hannah Deacon), a disinfectant-toting sycophant. The cool and composed Gibbs (Arthur Blake) and Rudd (Elizabeth Allen) provided a surprise denouement as they calmly explained away the demise of the entire staff body while Lamb (Gabriel Cox) went unwittingly to the slaughter, strapped tight in an electric chair.’
- Mrs C L Hooper (Head of Drama)