It was dark. We were plunged into an immersive soundscape containing ping pong balls, crutches, and knives being sharpened. It is an odd kind of audience involvement to be a character in a play but to be deprived of the ability to communicate. This one way performance but deeply satisfying show was Ring – 50 minutes spent in darkness listening to a prepared soundtrack. Karaoke was the next captivating play we saw, read from a Karaoke machine by two characters. There was both humour and darkness delivered in a monotone, emotionless, modern style. The machine continued to dictate the performance, making us question our fate. Even the stage directions were given on the screen, visible to the audience even before they were performed.
These two pieces formed a completely different experience for us but we are particularly glad to have to have seen Ring (even though we saw nothing). Karaoke was eye-opening and deep, leading to existential questioning although it was the greater depth of the first piece that gripped us most.
By Jack Driscoll, Lydia Hallam and Lawrence Hartley, 6.1
Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.