27th April 2016
Writing: Matthew Goodwin-Freeman (Year 11)
Editing: Finlay Carroll (Year 11)
The final curtain has now fallen on GCSE drama for the Year 11s.
The final lessons have been taught.
The last lines said.
Recently the thirteen GCSE drama students performed their three pieces to a small audience and an external examiner. This evening marked the end of months of preparation - from usual drama lessons to technical rehearsals. The students were placed into three groups, in order to allow everyone an equal share of the limelight! The starting point for the pieces was the word ‘consequences’ and we worked to explore it as a theme in each piece. As soon as the groups had chosen a play to work on, the rehearsals began as we counted down the days till the final performance.
The first group chose the acclaimed National Theatre production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time to take inspiration from for their piece. The story is centred around the challenges an autistic boy faces dealing with a difficult home life and the actions that he takes to cope with his condition. A key element to get right in this piece was expressing to the audience, through various performance choices, how an autistic person thinks and feels differently. The group created this effect by walking only in straight lines, taking sharp definite turns when they needed to change direction. Working hard to make all their movements sharp, the choreography was effective in portraying the mind of Christopher, the main character. The group said that they were ‘over the moon’ to have performed their piece to an examiner and audience after months of hard work.
The second group quickly chose to base their performance on Everyman, a play adapted by poet-laureate Carol Ann Duffy which recently played at the National Theatre with Chiwetel Ejiofor as the lead. It seemed that, for this group, anything that could’ve gone wrong did - leading to the nicknames ‘The Leicester of Drama’ and ‘Mission Miracle’! Thankfully the group pushed forward together, and despite some line-learning slips and prop breakages only moments before the final exam, the group performed perhaps one of the strongest pieces, although I am of course slightly biased due to the fact that that was my group! It was down to a lot of hard work being put in behind the scenes that our performance was so successful in the end.
The third and final group decided to base their piece on the long-lasting and well-loved play Pygmalion, but adapting the script to the language of modern-day teenagers. The comedy in the performance, especially the use of ‘chav lingo’ meant the performance ended up humorous and entertaining for the audience. As well as making the audience laugh, the performance also asked questions about the world we live in and the way that people quickly judge others on their accents. During the performance a bag of peanuts ended up splitting and showering the examiner in peanuts… thankfully she saw the funny side! By the end of the performance everyone was happy to have completed, in many cases, their first GCSE.
So, with that, GCSE Drama took its final bow. The examiner wished us well for our remaining exams, just leaving us to pack away our props. It’s fair to say that some were happier than others to see Drama finish, and others just relieved that the performances were over! We are very grateful to Miss Ivy and Mr Hornsbe for the helping us along the way as well as Sixth Formers who supported us with the technical aspects of the pieces. Finally we must say thank you to Mr Millar for teaching us so well over the past two years. Bravo!