The first week of December saw Bradon Forest GCSE drama students performing two classic comedies as part of their C18th Farce Week. On Monday and Tuesday we had Richard Sheridan's 'School for Scandal', a satire about scandal and damaged reputations which director Alison McCallum decided to set in the 60's.
"The iconic 1960’s photo of Christine Keeler, posed naked on a chair gave me the inspiration as to when to set School for Scandal. Keeler was a good-time girl, having fun in a decade that saw massive changes. However her affair with a government minister, and a soviet diplomat at the height of the cold war led to the Tory government being brought down. I decided to take Sheridan’s play and set it in one of the most scandalous times most of us have heard about if not lived through."
The play we presented was not the full length version. Due to unforeseen circumstances some major cutting and re-writing had to take place at the last minute which resulted with a new script being produced only the week before! The cast did remarkably well to adapt to the new script at very short notice and the play was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Arts Manager Jennifer Purcell said; "With the re-write in mind, the students did an excellent job at keeping the show together. There were a couple of scenes where Alison had to cut a lot of conversation, but she replaced this with low lighting and 60's music while the characters acted in deep conversation. As the music faded out we then heard a quick summary of the discussed plotting and so the audience were brought straight back into the story."
Wednesday 3rd was the opening night of The Venetian Twins, by Carlo Goldoni, which ran until Friday 5th. The play, written in 1747, was the first time that Commedia Dell Arte had been scripted, and was Goldoni's response to the continuing stream of smut that was being performed by touring commedia troupes.
audiences; fathers with a dark secret, rival lovers, sex-mad servantsThe play is a classic tale of mistaken identity and ensuing confusion. These identical Venetian Twins, unbeknown to each other and utterly different in character, arrive in town together on the same day. As a result the other characters can’t make out who’s who. Classic comic confusions follow with many antics to entertain the and jobsworth constables are all looking out for themselves. Neat twist in the plot (including a mislaid sister, a lost and found jewellery box and a poisoned drink) bring it all to a joyful conclusion.
The twins are both played by Harley Viveash who does well to flit between his regal and northern accents throughout the play, and his high energy is matched by the whole cast.
"An excellent example of GCSE drama at it's best."