What happens when you bring seven schools from across the globe together for one magnificent event in the heart of London’s theatre land? An outstanding production of Faustus.
The inspiration for this production was drawn from Dulwich College’s renowned Elizabethan theatre archive, including extracts from the Rose Theatre’s Costume Inventory, The Platte of The Seven Deadly Sinnes, descriptions of Alleyn’s return to the London stage in Ben Johnson’s ‘Magnificent Entertainment’ and information about the closure of London’s playhouse in 1597. Over 400 years later, our inspiration was to create a cohesive production that involved a theatre company made up from as many of our 11 schools as possible.
Over the past year Dulwich College International schools and Dulwich College have worked closely together to plan and create this production. Scripts and structure were written by Kathryn Norton Smith from Dulwich College and distributed across the schools, with each director engaging in virtual meetings about concept, genre and style.
Each school took on one or two of the deadly sins, created, devised and pre-rehearsed in separate countries then showcased to each other at the beginning of this week. Several actors from across the schools took on major roles and extra rehearsals to add to the cohesiveness of the plot, with Toby as the Bad Angel, Eleanor playing the Good Angel and Eleanor making a splendid Queen Elizabeth I. Theo played a menacing Mephistopheles and Louis the conflicted Faustus. Working with the production team from Dulwich College over three days, a one-hour original production was created. The resulting production was a thrilling physical play that thoroughly entertained.
From dance, voice, physical theatre, music and the magnificent venue of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, this production will not only serve as one of the most memorable experiences for our students and staff, but marks what we hope will be a continued collaboration that truly builds bridges across the world.