GCSE Trip to see Napoli Brooklyn
Monday 24th June 2019
Mr Godfrey took the L5 GCSE drama classes on a trip to see Napoli Brooklyn by Meghan Kennedy at the Oxford Playhouse on Thursday 6 June.
Direct from Broadway, this exceptional true story, in the tradition of Arthur Miller, transferred with a new cast to the UK. This European premiere of Meghan Kennedy’s enthralling coming-of-age tale starred Georgia May Foote (Coronation Street, Grange Hill) and was directed by Lisa Blair whose recent credits include a five star revival of Jerusalem.
The plot was as follows:
1960, Brooklyn, New York. The Muscolinos have raised three proud and passionate daughters, each of them bonded by a fierce love for one another and harbouring a secret longing that could tear the family apart. When an earth-shattering event rocks their neighbourhood, life comes to a screeching halt and the Muscolino sisters are forced to confront their conflicting visions for the future in this gripping, provocative and poignant portrait of love in all its danger and beauty.
The three sisters each gave great performances: Hannah Bristow as the passionate Francesca, Georgia May Foote as the headstrong Vita and Mona Goodwin as their practical older sister, Tina. Their parents were played by Robert Cavanagh as their volatile father, Nic and Madeleine Worrall as Luda, their quietly desperate mother.
Their Catholic faith was symbolised by three foot statues of Mary that were constantly lit on either side of the stage. The lighting used spotlights on solitary moments for the characters, with a blue wash on the back wall, which changed to sunsets and purple colours during different times of day and different moods. There was a blinding flash when the pivotal disaster in the play occurred. All these effects were accompanied with sound effects of music of the era, including Elvis Presley and the sounds of slamming doors in the family’s apartment block plus the sounds of congested traffic and screaming children in the street, which conjured up the atmosphere of a poor Brooklyn neighbourhood.
All the girls loved this performance and were gripped throughout.
“The performance of Napoli Brooklyn was really moving!” – Sophie T (L5)
It will certainly stay in all our memories and will be well reviewed by these girls for their GCSE drama exam.