Drama: Lower Sixth Examination Performances Shock and Entertain
The recent Lower Sixth Theatre Studies examination saw pupils performing a dizzying range of monologues before the audience was asked to stand and move into Studio 2, which had been transformed into a Sixth Form Common Room, for the Lower Sixth production of Punk Rock.
Written by Simon Stephens, the AS production was set in traverse, which meant the audience were sat on chairs either side of the set, as though to create two walls of the room.
The play explores bullying and teenage pressure in depth, with the final scene showing the ultimate catastrophe of a school shooting. These themes of violence are ones which are to be handled with care and the Lower Sixth students pulled this off perfectly - a task which is particularly difficult when moments of vile behavior are paired with dark comedy.
The parts in Punk Rock are all challenging and it was clear that each actor had done extensive preparation and characterisation work to personify such complex personalities on stage.
A particularly challenging role in the play was Chadwick Meade, played by Hannah Roberts, but Hannah's performance was sensational.
Elsewhere, Harvey Cole played 'Bennett' the school bully, who had the ability to turn the whole of the audience against him.
His devoted and in some ways naive girlfriend, Cissy, was played excellently by Sofia McDougal whose superb performance stood alongside those of Joe Robson, Alice Potter, Ismael Aziz and Grace Stableford in ways which meant that the audience was completely engaged and in the moment.
Challenging themes were approached with sensibility, sensitivity and maturity and, as an ensemble, the Lower Sixth group were completely spectacular.
With the play ending with such an explosive last scene, there was a buzz of adrenaline amongst the audience that was only emphasised as my fellow pupils and other audience members exchanged thoughts and opinions about what they had just watched.
Everyone I spoke to only gave positive feedback, and I can only agree; congratulations to Harvey, Hannah, Joe, Ishmael, Sofia, Alice and Grace. You were all phenomenal!