Eight years of poetry, drama, music-making and quite simply everything-about-growing-up-together is brought to a conclusion inthe traditional Class 8 Play. And what a conclusion this was!
‘Impressive… mind-blowing… passionate… enthusiastic… moving… sad… fresh… energetic… hilarious… witty ’ – were just some of theimmediate responses of the delighted audiences as they left the hall.
There were two ‘Cyranos’ – Ethan Brown and Claira Gayer – each playing on a different night. Both were simply excellent as theybrought this leading role of the great and gifted soldier-poet, who lacked self-confidence due to his rather large nose, to life in all hissplendid complexity, including his ultimate failure, and who was accompanied by his faithful servant Le Bret, disdainfully played byEvan Monkcom. (That Ethan’s nose fell off, simply gave him an opportunity to create yet another humorous moment!) Louis Pearl hadus laughing with delight whether he came on as the Musketeer, the Priest, Montfleury or the Poet. Isabelle Glover played Roxanne withgrace, beauty and passion, and Eli Mayes - her rather simple but honest and oh-so-handsome love, Christian, – well, our hearts went outto him as he struggled to understand her spiritual needs. Aron BorbelyBartis, as the Count de Guiche, brought a lusty energy to hisdishonourable pursuit of Roxanne, whilst Leon Walker brought great humour and lightness as the charming poet baker, Ragueneau. All theother parts were beautifully and fulsomely played by the rest of the class – well done ALL!
Many parts were huge with lots to learn – but the speaking was clear and impressive, the acting daring and free. I understand there was alot of racing around the outside of the hall and grabbing at wigs and jackets in order to reappear in a new guise in the right place at theright time. There were great fights and battle scenes, also moments of real sorrow underscored by mourneful singing as the slain lay strewnacross the stage. There was witty use of a balcony. There were tender love scenes - and then the conclusion: what happened? After thishugely funny comedy I was sad to be reminded that the true love of Cyrano and Roxanne was never requited - except only in the spirit.
I understand that philosophical questions about life, beauty and love constantly arose during rehearsals with discussion, even changes andadditions, being made during the four short weeks this play took to prepare, so that the class felt they had made it their own. Clearly this isa thoughtful and gifted group of young people, able to ‘play amongst themselves’ and to play to an audience – but it is equally clear thatthey have an excellent teacher who was able, with great patience and humour, to bring out the best in each of them!
A huge ‘Thank You’ to Jenny and Class 8, to Louise for the lighting, Mateus for the sword fighting, Nigel Roberts for the scenery, Nancy forthe costumes, Sandi and Wendy for the musical accompaniment, and all the wonderful parents who helped in a million ways.
Christine Polyblank 6th June 2016