Review: History Department Pageant

On Monday 4th November a cast of about 35 staff and pupils investigated what might have happened had Gavrilo Princip missed his target the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914… would World War One have been avoided?

The show kicked off with Mr Dukes (heavily made up as a beggarly Hungarian folk musician) strutting the stage playing central European folk dances on the violin… he was soon followed by the choir’s performance of the great Emperor’s Hymn by Haydn. Then the business of the evening – assassinations, time machines, and a culminating Congress of Marlborough College – really got underway.

The lavishly costumed line-up included some of the school’s most striking actors: Mr Tolputt played Franz Ferdinand (with a decorated bin on his head), Mr Blossom was Kaiser Wilhelm with his chief of staff Marshall Busch (played by Mr Bush); the sneaky spymaster General Gisti was played by Mr Gist, and Mr Wright was type-cast as the mad scientist who took some Shell pupils (taught by a moustachioed Mr Gow) back in time to change history. Gavrilo Princip was convincingly played by Mr Molyneux, who wore an ‘I love Corbyn’ T-shirt, Mr Hamilton was the Cossack Hamiltov and Mr Sandall was Clemenceau. Monty Quinlan (LI Sh) played the breakdancing King of Serbia, and various Shell and Remove were in the Black Hand, or the Bosnian crowd, or the time-machine. Mrs Harris wrote and presented a Risk Assessment for World War One, and asked people to think carefully about whether such an activity was really worthwhile. Mr Moule, who wrote and ‘co-ordinated’ (a strong word) the ‘play’, was Sir Edward Grey, and was relieved at the end that conflict had been avoided.

Christopher Moule
Head of History

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