Pupils studying Drama and Theatre at Dulwich College were delighted with the return to live performance in the Edward Alleyn Theatre (EAT). Year 11 pupils staged extracts from Punk Rock by Simon Stephens, Year 12 presented The Get Down, their original devised piece inspired by the story of Hip Hop in 70s New York, and Year 13 revived their exam monologues.
Electric Punk Rock
The EAT hosted its first public audience for more than 15 months and the atmosphere was electric. Our debut GCSE cohort staged excerpts from Simon Stephens blistering fin-de-siècle play Punk Rock, playing on-centre teenagers in a pressure cooker environment at an elite grammar school. Our debut Year 11 GCSE cohort presented snapshots of scenes and exchanges, and made brilliant choices with intention and motivation for individual interpretations of character.
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a Treasure”
Year 12 Drama & Theatre students presented a stunning original creative adaptation of the TV Series The Get Down
With many of the familiar rags-to-riches tropes associated with fairytales, the series portrays the aspiring hip-hop musicians Shaolin Fantastic and Ezekiel Figuero in the “burning” Bronx of the late 1970s in their attempts to break apart from the narratives of failure that are predetermined for disenfranchised communities. The ensemble chose to incorporate theatrical techniques associated with Kneehigh to create a piece of magical realism which was witty, dazzling and provocative. The themes of aspiration, music, and freedom were laid bare, with some terrific set pieces, including conjuring the landscape of the Bronx with parkour and graffiti, as well as the Disco Divas at Fat Annie’s club and grooving at The Get Down with slick bars and Hip-Hop beats.
One Last time
As a fitting coda to our first public performance for more than a year, Year 13 Drama and Theatre students gave us a masterclass of assured, mature performance work owning the stage of the Edward Alleyn Theatre for one last time. Their monologues gave us snapshots of weird, wired, witty and wonderful characters who amused, unnerved, moved, chilled, disarmed and provoked. All these young actors inhabited their roles for totally believable effect, delivering performances of the highest dramatic order.