20th January 2017
Writing: Louis Williams (Year 13)
Photography: Jay Carter (Year 13) and Ruhan Shah (Year 10)
Editing: Henry Franks (Year 11)
Red was the culmination of eight weeks' of work from the five-strong Year 13 Theatre Studies class. In addition, it was also the final piece of acting many of the cast will do at Challoner’s. Shockingly, there was very little red used at any point in the performance: formal reports have been filed.
Being a Year 13 devised piece, the outcome was enjoyable and strange. Highlights included a cake being dropped on the floor and left there for the duration of the thirty minute performance, as well as intermittent screaming and hooded men with bird masks. The piece itself focused on one character – Shaun Waits – and his mental breakdown as he dealt with his ‘crow' – a physical personification of grief. It was a play of two halves, the second act being a repeat of the first, except this time with more absurdist theatre elements.
The piece originated from three given stimuli: an extract from Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with the Feathers, a photograph of the desolate piece of England that is Dungeness, and Massive Attack’s song Paradise Circus complete with video. From this the group were tasked to come up with a piece incorporating the ideas they took from each stimuli. An overwhelming majority found grief to be the paramount topic in all of the stimuli and therefore we ran with that as the central focus of the performance.
The group then had eight weeks of brainstorming and rehearsing to put together a coherent piece of drama. Once those weeks were up and as much as could be done had been done, Red was performed twice for audiences to great success.
Thanks to Finlay Carroll for tech and to all Challoner’s students who came to support.