GCSE Drama Trip to see ‘Shakespeare in Love’
Tuesday 13th November 2018
All the U5 GCSE drama students travelled by coach to the Oxford Playhouse on the afternoon of Thursday 1 November to see ‘Shakespeare in Love’, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, based on the screenplay from the original film by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, with music by Paddy Cunneen.
The Oscar-laden movie, with its wonderfully witty script, was terrific, but in Lee Hall’s delightful stage adaptation the piece seemed to have found its true home. The girls all thoroughly enjoyed it!
“It was funny, often rather moving” – Eve L (U5)
All the girls felt that this inventive and touching comedy seemed like a joyous celebration of the possibilities of theatre itself. It had the lot – a stirring love story, a prodigious succession of terrific jokes , in which the young Shakespeare, suffering from a bad case of writer’s block, found the inspiration to write ‘Romeo and Juliet’ when he fell in love with Viola De Lesseps, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, little realising that she was leading a secret life of her own by disguising herself as a boy actor in his own acting company.
“I felt that it generated a warm glow in the audience” Olivia D (U5)
Max Jones came up with a characteristically simple but effective design, with all the action taking place within a handsome revolving Elizabethan staircase and balcony that represented many different locations, including the Curtain Theatre. The band of musicians performed a delightful Renaissance-inflected score by Paddy Cunneen.
“I loved the use of the candles in the romantic scenes” – Abigail H (U5)
There was a real sense of ensemble and shared enjoyment with this acting company. Pierro Niel-Mee was a handsome, virile Shakespeare, hilariously trying to compose “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”, each word emerging with agonising slowness and endless “ums and ahs”. Whether dressed as a boy or a girl, Imogen Daines proved an enchanting delight as Viola.
There was fine work too from Edmund Kingsley as a suave Marlowe, whose violent death made Shakespeare suffer agonies of guilt, and a peach of a comic performance from Jazmine Wilkinson as the young but already morbid John Webster. Geraldine Alexander as Queen Elizabeth, proved a commanding old ruler.
This was a great afternoon in the theatre and the girls will have plenty to write about for their GCSE drama review!