“Just wanted to say what a wonderful evening I had on Saturday. All the children were fantastic and on the way home they were really buzzing about the experience!”
“All the cast members gave a great performance and both plays were very enjoyable to watch”
46 pupil-actors from Cranleigh Prep travelled to The Leatherhead Theatre on Saturday afternoon to embark on the final stages of an exciting project and a great deal of hard work. Romeo and Juliet and The Comedy of Errors were cast from pupils in Form 3 and Form 6 at the beginning of term, and rehearsals took place in breaks and after school. The culmination of this hard work for these young actors was an exciting experience they will remember for the rest of their lives, with two exceptional performances in front of a large audience in a professional theatre.
Romeo and Juliet was set in “Granny’s attic” with a group of young children exploring, just happening to find boxes of “dressing up” clothes, and deciding to do a play, discovering what happens to the characters as they are led through acting out the series of events, helped by two story-teller friends. The appraisal at the end of the performance commented on Form 3’s commitment to the situations, their clear and confident understanding and presentation of the language, as well as a wonderful sense of joy in their performances.
The Comedy of Errors was given a “comic strip” treatment, starting with an added introduction to explain the complicated plot, complete with “comic strip” speech bubbles. There was an energetic, knock-about style to the whole production which wouldn’t have been out of place in a French Farce! There were strong performances all round with a truly ensemble feel to the production. All these points were mentioned in the appraisal made by the Festival Director at the end of the evening, as well as a commendation for the live musicians (two flutes and xylophone) who played atmospheric incidental music between scenes, and a final lively dance for the curtain calls.
HOT OFF THE PRESS! – the appraisal notes from the SSF director:
Cranleigh, Romeo and Juliet- Imaginative, creative and such an entertaining production. Set the show as if in an attic, with the students pulling out bits of costume to become the characters- brilliant concept! Great energy in this ensemble piece, with well-defined characters and beautiful moments. Storytelling by the narrators was very clear and engaging and the whole cast – who were on stage all the time – were very well focused.
Cranleigh, Comedy of Errors- A fantastic version of this play! This is a hard story to tell, what with the confusion, the layers of sub-plot and characters – yet Cranleigh executed it with clarity and absolute conviction. Costumes certainly helped define the sets of twins, but it was the strong characterisation that really helped tell the narrative. Really lovely concept again, great energy and the inclusion of musicians added another beautiful layer.
Congratulations to both casts!! You should all be very proud of your achievements.