Modern Languages L6 Drama Festival

Once again the Language Centre courtyard was packed on a beautifully warm summer evening, as the members of the audience took their seats for this year’s Modern Languages Lower Sixth Drama Festival. With nine languages represented, including an entry in English from the Exchange group visiting from our partner school in Paris, we were in for a feast of spoken foreign languages.

There were classic pieces based on literary works, such as the Russian poetry entry, Pushkin and Akhmatova, the French adaptation of Maupassant’s classic tale of vengeance, Un duel (A duel), modernised and updated to turn the original aggressor, Prussia, into a post-Brexit, warmongering Britain wreaking havoc across the Channel, and the Italian entry, a timeless Commedia dell’Arte classic, Pulcinella mendicante e disperato (Pulcinella penniless and desperate). There was some more contemporary writing, the French play Le gros lot, by Pierre Chevrier, and the French Exchange group from Notre-Dame de Bury with a classic scene from The vicar of Dibley entitled A village in need of a vicar. There was song, with the beautiful Japanese song Umi no mukou (Beyond the sea) and the Arabic entry Life in an Arabic family. Finally there were some brilliantly creative entries written by the sets themselves, the Chinese entry Love Island in China, the two Spanish entries Game of Thrones and Falsos amigos (False friends), and the German entry, the wonderfully multilingual Muttersprache (Mother tongue), adapted by the set from a tale by Anke Engelke. As an entertaining postscript, the third Spanish set, not to be outdone though decimated by absence on the night, had created their own film Mago de Oz (The wizard of Oz) which everyone was able to view afterwards.

The standard of performances was extremely high, with diction, engagement with the audience and overall performance style the criteria of the distinguished jury of Mrs Woodford, Ms Li and Ms D’Angelo. Mrs Woodford summed up the enjoyment of the evening and made a number of specific comments. In praising the careful work by everyone that had gone into preparing for the Festival, the jury awarded third place to the Italian play, Pulcinalla mendicante e disperato, second place to Spanish set’s performance of Falsos amigos, and this year’s first place to the Chinese production of Love Island in China. The festival concluded with a celebratory barbecue to mark the end of a great year for our Lower Sixth Modern Linguists. Many congratulations to all the performers on an excellent evening and an impressive celebration of spoken languages!

Andrew Brown
Head of Modern Languages

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