Review: Deus Dat Incrementum

The Ellis Theatre was home to a fascinating new project this term – Jane Darby’s production of Deus Dat Incrementum.

This original work was created to celebrate fifty years of girls at Marlborough College and was inspired by the BBC Points West feature that aired in 1968. The work was a brilliant fusion of verbatim interviews juxtaposed with highly comedic first encounters between the boys and the brave first cohort of girls. A highly talented ensemble executed this in performance demonstrating enormous ability in working in a number of different styles; ‘mocumentary’, rehearsal room chaos and an early school production of Shakespeare’s Loves Labours Lost. The challenge of working in these conflicting styles was brilliantly realised by a team of very committed actors producing an evening that was both highly entertaining and very poignant. The girls revealing interviews were equally as shocking as they were familiar.

GALLERY: Click here for a gallery of images

Whilst many things have changed we were reminded of the pioneering spirit of these pupils and in turn the forward thinking ethos of the college. This was Marlborough Drama at its best; creative, original, entertaining and beautifully detailed. It was very clear the high level of work that had gone into this production both in terms of the carefully crafted characters and the wonderful array of period costumes. The incredibly effective and accurate set design provided a brilliant playground for these characters to interact, conflict and ultimately come together in the final after show ‘bar’ (involving, perhaps, a new ‘twist’ on the Twist). The fusion of music, comedy and finely tuned characters led to many wonderful moments – including the TV crew that intervened, observed and judged the action throughout.

Congratulations to all involved in what was a highly memorable production; a very fitting tribute to fifty years of co-education and the invaluable contribution that girls have made to the college.

David Kenworthy
Head of Drama

You may also like