Year 12 A Level
Year 12 – A Level – Devised Exam
At the beginning of May the Year 12 Drama students embarked on a feat of creative and physical complexity with their Devised practical exam performances based around the work of the “fiercely energetic” theatre company Frantic Assembly. Their pieces were highly innovative and engaging demonstrating a clear understanding of effective theatrical form and highly skilled interpretation of some complex characters.
Performed by Harry Lowe, Kirsty Lucas, Isabelle Morse & Tas Peters
Based on the play “How to Disappear Completely” By Finn Kennedy this piece explored the story of Mike a figure who spends his life running from himself and society by assuming the stolen identities of others who have disappeared. The plot explored four unique narratives based around the identities Mike assumes looking at the complex backstories that pushed them to vanish from society.
Based on Brighton Pier, the opening synchronised sequenced lured the audience into a highly physical piece that effectively combined a complex plot with synchronised movement precision. The hard-hitting script was complemented by the groups firm and forthright acting style and the soundtrack of 1975 tracks gave the piece a unique creative sound. The overall effect was a piece that bordered on Berkoffian in style and hit the audience hard and fast leaving them questioning if a person can ever hope to, or really want to disappear completely.
Performed by Connor Craig, Florence Cain, Kathryn Jennings & Eden Stokes
London’s Central Tube line formed the narrative spine of this truly unique piece of theatre exploring the interweaving of seemingly unconnected narrative as they commute on the Underground. Based on Caryl Churchill’s beautiful play “Love & Information” this moving piece used a series of seemingly unrelated scenes to touch on the lives effected by the 2005 London Bombings.
The innovative staging of this piece saw characters move over a series of levels and stage spaces guided by flowing red lights representing the lines of London’s underground. The physical development and classical sound tracking of the piece made moments such as the bombing and its aftermath appear poetic and emotive. It was theatre constructed with sensitivity and synchronisation to effectively explore a profound topic beautifully.
It’s Up To You
Performed by Anna Bray, Sarah Gregory, Molly Leefe & Tom Pedley
Emma is a lost soul, so lost in fact that she has retreated into the complex world of her own mind. Based on the brilliant play “Dissocia” by Anthony Neilson this piece explored the complex relationships that the protagonist Emma has with the personifications of her own emotions.
The groups clever use of an aeroplane journey to underpin the narrative created a quirky visual world where peppy cabin crew interspersed the, at times sinister, depths of the central figures traumatic past. With dramatic and fast paced movement peppered throughout and the hunting tones of a minor key “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” as a continual aural motif, the audience were continually reminded that however far you run from your past, it will always catch up with you.
Performed by Adam Davies, Henry Ellingham, Sophia Musgrove, Katie Squires & Beth Wigham
After a global fertility crisis “The Patronage” is formed. A community dominated by males and overseen by the unseen figure of “The Patron”, this society uses women merely as vessels for the creation of a new generation of “finessed families”. Based on the novel by George Orwell (subsequently adapted into a play by Matthew Dunster) the revolves around three very different females who all fall victim to the brutality of this dystopian dictatorship.
This piece developed Frantic Assembly’s techniques brilliantly to explore a plethora of different situations, relationships and underlying emotions. Regimented community gatherings, torturous interrogations and love stories were all underpinned with elaborate physical formations to cleverly heighted the mood and atmosphere on stage. This well-honed movement was enhanced by clever use of themed lighting and poignant projections to create a fluid and well thought out slice of dystopia.