Review: The Grimm Tales by Carol Ann Duffy

Rebecca Thomas and Owen Elton’s production of The Grimm Tales was a feast of storytelling magic framed in the familiar surroundings of a Shell dorm – albeit with rather more silk pyjamas than usual. The driving impulse of these stories as an essential part of growing up was very evident – and it wasn’t afraid […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Review: Journey’s End

David Kenworthy’s haunting production of R.C Sherriff’s Journey’s End earned a central position in the College Armistice commemoration. An exceptionally committed group of boys had worked tirelessly throughout the term to transform themselves into an utterly credible company of front-line soldiers. For two hours we sat enthralled as the intensity and naturalism of these actors’ […]

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After Juliet by Sharman Macdonald

The Lower School play this term was Macdonald’s clever sequel to Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers. In this modern, humid Verona the Capulet and Montague feud stews in the Mediterranean heat, as those left behind by the couple’s tragic loss tussle with the consequences. Jane Darby’s riveting production was simmering with all the violence […]

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Review: After Juliet by Sharman Macdonald

The lower school play this term was Macdonald’s clever sequel to Shakespeare’s classic tale of star-crossed lovers. In this modern, humid Verona the Capulet and Montague feud stews in the Mediterranean heat, as those left behind by the couple’s tragic loss tussle with the consequences. Jane Darby’s riveting production was simmering with all the violence […]

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Review: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Mike Ponsford and Ginny Brown’s production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was a magical trip through the eyes of children living through the Second World War.  This stark, minimalist adaptation brought the mysterious world of Narnia to life built from the debris of war.  Ammunition boxes, crates and chairs piled together like a barricade […]

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Penny Reading: Twelfth Night

Shakespeare’s delightful topsy-turvy world of Illyria where grief-stricken characters, bereft of siblings and lovers, are presented within a comedic frame was dazzlingly brought to life in David Kenworthy’s production of Twelfth Night. The warming, goodwill essence of Christmas was somewhat subverted as Santa became the drunken bully Sir Toby Belch, blusteringly played by Max Foulds (SU L6) and […]

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Penny Reading: Twelfth Night

Shakespeare’s delightful topsy-turvy world of Illyria where grief-stricken characters, bereft of siblings and lovers, are presented within a comedic frame was dazzlingly brought to life in David Kenworthy’s production of Twelfth Night. The warming, goodwill essence of Christmas was somewhat subverted as Santa became the drunken bully Sir Toby Belch, blusteringly played by Max Foulds […]

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Review: The Cherry Orchard

Jane Darby’s production of The Cherry Orchard was a wonderful mix of brutality and comedy, a mixture that seems to permeate all of Chekhov’s work. The stripped back walls of the Raneskya’s country estate were a haunting reminder of the central struggle that occupy the characters, that of a decaying aristocracy trying to cling to the vision […]

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Review: Haroun and the Sea of Stories

The Shell Play ‘Haroun and the Sea of Stories’ by Salman Rushdie The Shell brought to life the mysterious tale of Haroun in the Ellis Theatre in a physical and imaginative style.  Shadow puppets of weird and wonderful creatures circled the minimalist black box space which offset the bright and vivid costumes in this pageant […]

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Review: Anything Goes by Cole Porter

Jane Darby’s sparkling production of Anything Goes was as delightful as the famous Cole Porter song suggests.  The treats were more delicious than delovely, packing a real contemporary punch into this 1930s farce set on the cruise liner Americana.  From the moment the audience entered the Ellis Theatre we were treated to a sumptuous dockside vista, complete with […]

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Review: Anything Goes

Cole Porter’s Anything Goes is apparently one of the most popular musicals staged by colleges, schools and amateur companies across the world, and it’s easy to see why. It’s engaging, accessible and witty, and contains some persuasive (but tricky) musical numbers, which allows for the spirit and freshness of youth to rise to the surface quite beautifully. […]

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Review: The Revenger’s Tragedy

David Kenworthy’s adaptation of The Revenger’s Tragedy enabled a group of skilled young actors to present a Jacobean story in a contemporary context.  The sensitive issue of mental health was given a visual representation thanks to Paul Cox’s highly detailed hospital set design, and Middleton’s characters became a group of patients reliving the violent and […]

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Review: An Ideal Husband

David Kenworthy’s production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband brought a feast of decadence to the Ellis Theatre last week. Spectators were treated to an evening of witty verbal dueling set against a sumptuous visual backdrop of social and political turmoil. The play’s collision of the old world and the new was expertly represented by a committed […]

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Review: Michaelmas Illumination 2014

The Michaelmas Term 2014 Illumination was shrouded in controversy; it was on a Saturday Night. Would the hordes of Sixth Form sacrifice their pub trips and Malburian shenanigans to come and watch? Those who did were not disappointed. The crowd were anxious to see the new heads of Illumination in action but Calum and Alice […]

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Review: The Roaring Girl

Jane Darby’s production of The Roaring Girl was a hilarious romp through Jacobean gender politics reset in the underground cauldron of blurred lines; The False Tails bar in central London, 2014. Leila Tinne (LI U6) in the title role was a genuine enigma; leather clad, hair in dreadlocks and switching easily between femme fatale and playboy.  What was most impressive […]

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Review: The Machine Gunners

View the slideshow here The 2014 Shell play The Machine Gunners written by Robert Westall and directed by Steven Pleasants tells the story of a group of children nearing adolescence living in the midst of the Second World War.  The play centres on Chas McGill, played by the talented Adam Dalrymple (SU Sh), a young boy […]

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Review: The House of Bernarda Alba

Jane Darby’s production of The House of Bernarda Alba was as complex and intricate as the lace that adorned the poster.  Click here to view the slideshow. The detailed characters of Lorca’s last play collide and wrestle in the claustrophobic house of mourning presided over by the fanatic matriarch Bernarda played with startling clarity, passion and commitment […]

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Review: The Monarch of Wit

Stephen Siddall’s lecture on John Donne was both contextually fascinating and thought-provoking.  He transformed the poems that we had read into live aural pieces whilst highlighting the spontaneity of Donne’s word choices, enabling us to imagine how they might have been written and received instead of seeing them as words on a page. Siddall drew […]

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