On the evening of 8 September, fifteen boys from Forms I and II took to the stage of the Palladium Theatre to present a dramatized version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
This dynamic and engaging presentation represented the culmination of the work undertaken by boys of the School’s Drama Club, which, throughout Term II, offered weekly drama lessons provided by theatre professionals from the Sydney Performance Academy. The relationship between the School and the Academy now stretches back over six years, and all boys who have participated in the Drama Club have benefitted from focused lessons in improvisational scene work, textual analysis and character development. Having built up the boys acting skills, the decision was then made to give them a taste of an actual theatrical performance, and in Term III the focus shifted to preparing for Animal Farm.
Led by their teachers, Ms Briallen Clarke, Mr Daniel Dunlop and Ms Paige Gardiner, the boys added Sunday morning rehearsals to their schedules – perhaps a little reluctantly – and in a relatively short period were successful in bringing the play to life. As the play had minimal production elements – a simple set, a limited range of technical effects – the emphasis was on creating an actor-focused, physical production. And as the script also offered opportunities for the actors to have more than one part, the value of working as an effective ensemble became self-evident.
Animal Farm also gave Mr Warry’s audiovisual team a chance to polish their skills and, perhaps even more importantly, provided some newcomers of their first experience with the dark arts of theatre. Corey Blyth (IV) impressed in his first role as stage manager, working under the watchful and experienced eye of Duncan Currie (V).
Directed by Mr Douglas Wilson, Photos by Paul Wright