Tuesday 26th January 2010 by C. Freeman
Year 13 Theatre Studies students have staged a compelling and hard-hitting drama as part of their A Level practical work. The students wrote, directed and staged 'The Asylum' based on women's experiences of being locked up in an institution.
The piece which lasted around 40 minutes alternated between naturalistic and surreal scenes and each actor delivered a monologue so their acting skills could be assessed by the examiners.
Teacher Mrs Angela Brown said: 'They are all very talented performers and they completed devised the piece themselves, working from a starting point based on Dali's picture “Metamorphosis of Narcissus.” From that they focused on the idea of the subconscious; the play portrayed young women who were battling with issues such as anorexia, domestic abuse, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.'
Year 12 and 13 students and several staff members watched the finished production which was set in the 1920s and 30s and it gained glowing reviews:
Miss Feeley said: 'I enjoyed the performance greatly and found it very moving and powerful with a strong message'.
Librarian Miss Adams said: 'The students were in character throughout the play, up to and including the tragic ending. The play was well written, so that the characters came over in a natural, believable way. There were interludes after each character had spoken a monologue about their plight where the students either fought under a strobe light, or did a rhythmic dance to music, or various other dramatic acting – it was very effective. The music and stage direction were excellent and so well assimilated into the piece that they weren't noticed separately, it really flowed well. The students used techniques designed to make the audience uncomfortable, and the play was upsetting because of that, but it was necessary as it was such a poignant story, that I did feel needed to be told.'
Teacher Miss Cockroft said: 'The monologues were very emotive and the students portrayed their characters with empathy. They showed maturity in their approach to their characterisations of women in traumatic circumstances. As Head of Year 13, I am very proud of what they achieved, and send my congratulations to all involved.'