The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

09 Jul 2012

Yesterday, the final Thursday evening of term parents and students enjoyed two delightful adaptations of The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The evening began in the Amanda Smith Theatre where the First Year group threw themselves into the challenge of staging Shakespeare’s final work. There were remarkable performances by Ellie Gamble as an authoritative Prospero, Martha McGarry as a sensitive Miranda and Ellie Vassallo was full of energy as the bitter and frustrated Caliban. Jade Doyle and Laura Clark were a fantastic comic duo as Trinculo and Stephano. First Years Harry Henderson and Lauren Hart designed the lighting using rich colours to suggest the magical island and they skilfully incorporated the use of the follow spot to highlight the visual impact of the wedding masque.

After a short break for refreshments the audience were then invited to take a stroll to the Bourneside woods for the Third and Fourth year extension group’s performance. Ribbons on the trees marked the playing space. The whole cast rose to the challenge of performing outside, the aeroplanes overhead, screeching parakeets, the Headmaster’s mobile phone, and gave a fantastic ensemble performance. The mechanicals were led by Mark Thomas’s portrayal of Bottom, the amateur actor of great pretension, and the emotional wrangling of the young lovers, played by Third Year students, was both touching and funny. Emily Jeffery was an ethereal fairy Queen and her battle with Josie Farmer’s alarmingly sinister Oberon cut through the lightness and comedy ably assisted by Anna Diab’s impish Puck. In the short preparation time the company did wonderfully well to convey the distinctiveness of each character and they used the woodland location to magical effect.

Photo: A Midsummer Night’s Dream