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Free Rein on Monarch Tales

November 02, 2017 at 3:16 PM

The Middle College Drama Club students were given free rein to create a theatrical piece inspired by a historical monarch. Marie Antoinette, Henry VIII and Cleopatra all made an appearance last night at their performance evening. The results? An informal, highly entertaining evening for family and friends.

The Club meets after school each Wednesday and unlike the auditioned drama groups, it is for students who would like to try something new, improve their confidence or simply gain acting experience. With a focus on improvisation and drama games, the club has proven to be a huge success with Year 7-10 students who are willing to jump into every activity with commitment. With 35 students in the club this year, they were split into three different groups and each given a historical monarch to create a theatre piece about.

The first group took to the stage, portraying Marie Antoinette as a reality television star. Marie lives a life of luxury that people would do anything to be a part of. We followed her life through a documentary/reality style television show, where we got to see the real side of Marie's secret life.

The second group showcased Cleopatra’s ill-fated life in melodramatic style. After her father’s death, she stepped up to the throne but had to marry her two brothers. A ripple effect carried on through the show with anyone who Cleopatra married, dying before her, until she was killed by a snake.

The last group took on the story of Henry VIII through a hilarious dating show – Wife or Knife! Eligible bachelor, King Henry VIII appeared on the show to select one of the six beautiful ladies to be his wife, which one did he choose? Well, eventually all of them, after reappearing on the show time and time again! An ‘obese’ King Henry VIII met his end while waiting for his last wife to bring him ‘chicken nuggets!’

The Club has guidance from itinerant drama teachers, Ms Rachael Longshaw-Park and Miss Brie Hill, as well as Year 11 student, Hannah Hughes, who attends every session. Each of the three groups worked through the writing and devising process, making sure they engaged theatrical techniques such as narration, use of props and appropriate costume selection. It is a fantastic way for the students to learn all facets of performance, resulting in growth in both personal skill and self-confidence on the stage. And, of course, it’s fun! 

Well done to the students for their performances last night, they were thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

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