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Oakham School pupils 'bewitch' audiences

Published by Oakham School on Friday 25th of April 2014

It's certainly been another busy term for Oakham School's Drama department. Not only have pupils starred in a variety of performances, but they have also had the chance to gain experience from a former pupil who has gone on to establish an impressive acting career!

The beginning of term saw the return of the 'Oakham Student Arts Festival'. The Queen Elizabeth Theatre was taken over by promising young actors, songwriters and directors who staged five different shows. The programme included an iconic British comedy, Blackadder: General Hospital, an atmospheric piece inspired by the work of the Bronte sisters, entitled Genesis, and a student-devised piece, Society.Com. Two up-and-coming young talents debuted a student-written musical, Eunice, a fantastic feat for such young musicians. The final item on the programme was an adaptation of Edgar Alan Poe's gothic novella, Tell Tale Heart. The students' hard work truly paid off, as they delighted audiences every night.

Half-way through the term, Oakham's Middle School pupils put on an outstanding rendition of Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. The play is a comedic look at some of the more eerie characters in Shakespeare's plays. The production showcased some of Oakham's brightest up-and-coming acting talent. The three leading ladies, Imogen Brown, Ellie Rose Hunt and India Martin were a particular highlight, adding both depth and comic timing to the fast-paced plot. With demons appearing out of smoking cauldrons, vanishing cats and a play within a play, this witty parody of Shakespeare's more macabre works had the audience in stitches from start to finish.

The school's Drama Scholars finished the season, with an outstanding performance of Andrew Bovell's Speaking In Tongues. Following nine parallel lives, the play is a thought provoking mystery woven through a series of fragmented confessions. The theatre was transformed into an unembellished white set that was brought alive by the use of projections via cutting edge mapping technology. Within this stark world, the eight brightly dressed actors were presented with the chance to freely exhibit their talents. The scholars worked incredibly hard to successfully convey plot and context to their appreciative audience.

As well as showcasing their own talents, Oakham School pupils were also able to learn from a former student when the Drama department welcomed back Lydia Rose Bewley. Since leaving Oakham Lydia has built up an impressive repertoire of diverse work for such a young actor, having starred in various theatre, television and film projects - including The Inbetweeners Movie and Plebs. Drama students gathered to share their questions and queries with an industry professional who had once been in their position. Humble and honest, Lydia shared her experiences with the students, providing an interesting insight into the journey between school and the profession, leaving students with much food for thought.
Oakham School pupils 'bewitch' audiences - Photo 1Oakham School pupils 'bewitch' audiences - Photo 2
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