Monday 29th July 2019
Earlier this year, I was given the exciting but challenging role of Co-Director of ‘Chaos’.
‘Chaos’ was a play that was chosen from 10 plays for Queen Anne’s students to perform as a part of the National Theatre Connections Festival. I was asked to help direct it. This is a role which I have not done before, but was so much fun learning how to put what I wanted to see happen into action on the stage, and whilst also learning to change it when things might not have played out how I thought they might in my head.
As Co-Director, the hardest part for me was learning how to take criticism, especially when on a scene or a character that I had put a lot of time into thinking about. Luckily, I became close with all the cast so I felt as though we could express our thoughts to each other easily without upsetting one another. However, even with that the whole experience was so good for building my own character, specifically to be a more confident leader.
For the actors, it was a different learning experience because of the time spent on the play: rather than a term or less, we had a term and a half of rehearsals and half a term of auditions and information meetings etc., which was a real test of stamina and commitment.
This play was a lengthy process, much longer than any other plays at school, as it took time for auditions, putting characters forward, setting the stage and then rehearsals, all before our first performance at Queen Anne’s School in March. From this performance we could make slight changes to perfect it for our performance at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in April.
The day we went to the theatre in Northampton was long, but a lot happened; we all learnt so much, both cast and crew. We were the first to perform, which allowed us a lot of rehearsal time where we were complimented by various members of staff from the theatres on our attitude towards performing, getting on and making it excellent.
Going first meant that we could get on and do it before having to watch other performances. It was very eye-opening to watch the other versions of our own play, and see how others had interpreted the same script, including the staging, the outfits, the makeup and casting. We had a short break from watching plays. During this time we went to a workshop put on by the Royal & Derngate theatre, called ‘Playing the Game’, where we learnt a new and very interesting in-depth drama technique when in a scene.
The whole experience for me was very rewarding, going from reading the script to the auditions. Then casting the play and the beginning run-throughs which lasted months, months of lunchtimes and after school rehearsals to perfect something which I had created in my mind. When I watched the first performance at school, I felt very proud of everyone involved. And knew that we were going to do even better at Royal & Derngate Theatre, which, of course, we did!