School Plays(1957)


Author Unknown

THROUGHOUT the Winter and Spring Terms, the forms of the first and second year competed in the Junior Drama Competition; on the 22nd and 23rd March, the two finalists, IA and IID, presented their plays to the school and parents.

The adjudicators made their decision on the first evening's performance, and were concerned mainly with the following points characterisation, diction and stage movement and manner. The decision was by no means easy, as both plays were of the high standard expected of finalists and were obviously the result of much hard work on the part of everyone concerned.

Characterisation was important in both plays, and at tremendous responsibility rested on the central characters. In the main, character portrayal was good, the "female" character being completely feminine, the anarchist maintaining his accent to the last, the pirates looking rough and fearsome, and the headmaster pompously academic.

Poor diction, and particularly gabbling, is a common fault in young actors. This year's finalists improved on last year's in this respect, but gabbling sometimes marred an otherwise. good performance, and a dropped voice destroyed a humorous line.

Movement was generally good but "masking" did occur on occasions in II's production, occasioned probably by the large number of actors on the stage at one time.

For young actors, a remarkable amount of confidence was displayed and the majority appeared perfectly happy on the stage and responded well to the audience. Above all, it was evident that everybody thoroughly enjoyed himself.

Bearing these points in mind, the adjudicators decided to award the competition to 1A for their performance in Crimson Coconut, at the same time highly commending IIn on the standard achieved in Scuttleboom's Treasure.

In addition to the Junior Drama Competition, there were two plays this year by senior pupils of the school: an excerpt from Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and a scene from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The scene from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme benefited from an excellent translation by Mr. Richardson, and the few intentional anachronisms which were included, such as the Strauss Waltz, would doubtless have been heartily applauded by Molière himself. D. Woodham as M. Jourdain, the uneducated trader endeavouring to enter high society, was excellently cast, and proved himself a capable actor. He was ably assisted by D. Higgs as the Philosopher and G. Goodwin as the Music Teacher. The result was a typical Molière comedy of manners, with the audience laughing once again at some of the absurdities of sophisticated seventeenth century French society.

The scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream was enthusiastically tackled by a cast who had obviously studied in detail Shakespeare's Athenian (or Elizabethan) characters, and who entered into the spirit of the play with tremendous vigour. P. Buck as Bottom deserves special mention. The play of Pyramus and Thisbe was particularly well done.

Despite the continued absence of curtains and other essentials the evening was an unqualified success.

A section of the school choir sang two Elizabethan Madrigals by Morley and Dowland, in three and four voices. Both madrigals were sung unaccompanied, which helped the performance to be both accurate and musicianly.

The string quartet played an extract from Lulli's music composed for the original performance of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme as well as some of the interludes in A Midsummer Night's Dream, ingeniously contrived by Mr. James. In the quartet the first violin was played by the Headmaster, the second violin by T. O'Brien, the viola by Mr. Demmery, and the "cello by Van Kampen.

1957 School Magazine


Dr. Watson's Retirement

Photos of Staff


Junior Common Room (1963)