It’s been a while since the last post here on the Ogstoun Blog and what a whirl of exciting adventures we’ve had in that time! Here’s a taste of a few of the things we’ve been up to here in the busy, busy drama department at Gordonstoun…
DEVISED WORK FOR CHILDREN – TOURING PRODUCTIONS
The Year 13 Drama Students took their touring productions out to primary schools. with the stimulus of Scottish Folk Tales, the students created two magical pieces of children’s theatre that held thier audiences spellbound.
Sir Walter Scott’s Highland Fling pictured Walter Scott as he travelled through the Highlands searching for new ideas for his stories. The group created a piece of physical theatre full of marvelous characters and mystical creatures.
The Tale of Rashiecoat was an adaptation of the traditional Scottish version of Cinderella. The students created a piece that entertained, but also offered a thought provoking message to the audience of young children about the importance of reading and the enjoyement that can be found in a great book.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
For our Christmas show, the Director of Drama wrote a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of redemption at the hands of supernatural forces. Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley and then by the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future. He realises that the life he has been living is bringing nothing but pain and suffering, both to himself and to those around him.
YEAR 12 PRODUCTIONS
Our AS students presented outstanding shows to the Chief Examiner as part of their AS course. With so many students studying A level Drama and Theatre Studies here at Gordonstoun we had to present four productions.
Written by Steven Berkoff, The Trial is a fantastic adaptation of Franz Kafka’s short novel. Joseph K is charged with a crime and brought to a trial but never finds out what his crime is supposed to be and he sinks beneath the not knowing and the juggernaut of the judicial system that, once started, seems unstoppable.
As Joseph K flails about tring to understand the system he is locked within, the play conveys his situation with a sense of doom but also with comedy and flair.
Blue Remembered Hills
Originally a British television play by Dennis Potter, Blue Remembered Hills concerns a group of silly seven-year-olds playing in the Forest of Dean one summer afternoon during 1943. It displays how victimisation and stereotypical views occur even in young children, and ends abruptly when the character of “Donald” is burned to death as a result of the other children’s actions.
Lord of the Flies
In the middle of a war, a plane evacuating a group of boys is shot down, crashing on a deserted tropical island. The only survivors are a group of boys, thrown together by their circumstances. The boys begin with a somewhat rigid fixation on rulemaking, the result of their schooling and education. Then, as the boys factionalise and their beliefs and superstitions become more concrete, the thin veneer of civilisation breaks down. The boys split into two confrontational groups and as an end result engage in a feud which perhaps mirrors the war going on outside of their island.
Written in 1977, Olwen Wymark’s drama tells the true story of Verity Taylor, who suffered from an undiagnosed mental disorder for years, before being incarcerated indefinitely in Broadmoor after setting fire to a chair, aged 20. Verity’s illness has an understandably destructive impact on her family, who struggle to cope with behaviour they cannot understand or resolve. The play highlights the deficiencies of social services and hospitals at the time in dealing with Verity’s situation and assisting a family struggling to cope.
That’s just a taste of what gone on here in the Drama Department at Gordonstoun in the past 6 months. We’ve also had lots of trips out, we’ve seen Cats, Blood Brothers, a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Time and The Conways, The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk and One Man Two Guvnors. We’ve held challenge days for primary and prep schools, we’ve given workshops at Aberlour House, we’ve been to the Edinburgh Dungeons and walked through haunted underground crypts, We’ve presented a short version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you would have seen it in 1597 we’ve terrified audiences with Woyzeck presentations, we’ve presented Stanisavski, Brecht and Artaud, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried and the year ain’t even over yet!