Drama students enjoyed a revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s play 'Mr Whatnot' in a 50th anniversary production at the Derngate. The comedy, a tribute to the silent movie era, has been described as “Mr Bean goes to Downton.” It used extensive sound effects and minimal staging to poke fun at beloved British institutions and was directed by Cal McCrystal who was physical comedy director for the acclaimed ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’.
Teacher Ms Duguid accompanied the Year 11 GCSE drama students: ‘It was an absolute comedy. The main character was a mute and the play mocked everything that is essentially British. The script has very stringent stage directions and there was basically no set. During the two-hour play there were more than 400 sound effects and sound cues that had to be spot on and there was also lots of audience interaction.
‘I would recommend the play to anybody. The students have to write a review of a live performance as part of their coursework so they will be critiquing the use of symbolism to convey meaning and the use of the set and props in this production. It was a brilliant piece of drama and the students really enjoyed it. ‘