‘Enter the Dragons’ review

By Meg Allin, 6.2 and Drama Don

Enter the Dragons by A&E Comedy House was a hilariously truthful telling of a journey through menopause. This half mythical show was delightfully interrupted by fourth wall breaks saying things like “no just do the next scene!”

The show’s amazingly detailed costume and clever lighting added to the whimsical feel and showed the childishness in everyone- audience and actors. There were so many moments that had everyone clasping their hands over their mouths in laughter. This show was the funniest I’ve seen for a while!

It may seem for a certain demographic but it expanded across all audience members making even the young man next to me laugh in agreement. The show was not compulsory for Drama students but I think anyone who didn’t see it should (and do) massively regret it.

On the website the style of the piece is describe as “Think Mighty Boosh runs the Women’s Institute”, which I love and I think is completely accurate. It wasn’t all giggles however as of course the two women took a more serious tone to get a meaningful message of hope across. A quote that stuck with me was “to age is to live, to live is to age”.

It was performed with such intelligence that you could enjoy it with ease and still feel like you’re watching something worthwhile and meaningful. The light heartedness of the piece seem to only make it more meaningful as the audiences laughed along side the actors, pulling them in from start to finish.

If you don’t see this show (it is touring) then you are sourly missing out because if I were to recommend any show out of the ones Bedales has been lucky enough to have so far- it would be this one.

Gecko workshop review

By Aidan Hall, 6.1 and Drama Scholar

Last Wednesday, a member of Gecko Theatre Company came to Bedales, hosting a workshop around the physical theatre company’s process of creating their shows (devising). Throughout the three hours, the Sixth Form Theatre students were exposed to an incredibly unique and engaging art form, one that transcends the boundaries of standardized and archetypical theatre.

Starting with a vigorous warm-up of ambitious stretches and sets of movement that forced students to realize the athletic competence needed to be an effective member of Gecko.

The core of the workshop contained exercises that concentrated on focus, attention and readiness, along with several devising exercises that, by the end of the workshop, left students creating their own work in pairs and eventually in large mobs and yet these groups managed to all operate and flow throughout each other, creating this immersive ‘hive-mind’ experience for both performer and spectator.

Starting with a vigorous warm-up of ambitious stretches and sets of movement that forced students to realize the athletic competence needed to be an effective member of Gecko.

The core of the workshop contained exercises that concentrated on focus, attention and readiness, along with several devising exercises that, by the end of the workshop, left students creating their own work in pairs and eventually in large mobs and yet these groups managed to all operate and flow throughout each other, creating this immersive ‘hive-mind’ experience for both performer and spectator.

It is important not to stereotype when one describes Gecko as being a physical theatre company; the beauty of their work is not just within the bodily movement of each performer, but the surreal environment created by the total commitment of performers, designers and directors alike. It was an amazing opportunity and experience to work with such an internationally acclaimed and original company.

New season for Bedales Events: Autumn 2018

By Amanda Brewer and the Bedales Events team

Kate Adie is a news correspondent and a household name, having reported from disasters and conflicts around the globe throughout her 35-year career. Simon Armitage is an award-winning poet, playwright and songwriter.

What do they both have in common? They are both visiting us at the Bedales Theatre in Steep as part of the new season of Bedales Events.

The Flop

The autumn programme of events, which includes speakers, dance, drama and music performances, kicks off on 11 September with The Flop: a slightly rude, hilarious slice of clowning silliness set in Paris in 1650, where impotence is illegal and a member of the aristocracy is accused of being less than upstanding.

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage then comes to Bedales on 13 September to read from a range of his work and take questions from the audience. If you haven’t already booked, be quick – demand has been high and only a few tickets remain.

Bullish

On 19 September Milk Presents bring you BULLISH: a new mythical play with songs, negotiating ancient and new territories in trans-masculine gender and identity. Milk Presents’ work has had a real impact on the British arts scene and at Bedales it will undoubtedly make its mark on the Petersfield community.

Tabby McTat

A special production of Tabby McTat, suitable for children of all ages, brings the month’s offerings to a close on 30 September. Based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this is the heart-warming tale of friendship and loyalty, interwoven with original songs.

Kate Adie

Later in the season comes the musical A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), the drama productions of Enter the Dragons and Brilliance, music from the James Taylor Quartet, dance from Company Chameleon – as well as that talk from Kate Adie.

All of these touring performances are in addition to the Homegrown productions delivered by Bedales students.

Further information about all Bedales Events, together with booking information, can be found on the Bedales Events website.

A Necessary Woman – ‘No Vote, no Census’

Big Slider A necessary woman Poster image front

By Ollie van Hoeken, Bedales student

After teaching us about the context of the characters and events in the play in Jaw, Deborah Clair and Philippa Urquhart headed over to the theatre to prepare for their touring show.

The plot of the play is how Emily Davidson and ‘necessary woman’ Mary meet in the cleaning cupboard, and discuss their views of the suffragettes. Emily Davidson, a historical suffragette famously threw herself under the King’s horse for the right of women to vote. The character of Emily has come to disrupt the House of Commons meeting after the 1911 census.

The minimalist set created an intimate atmosphere and the use of recorded voice and sound of bells and the master, made the scenes focussed. With clear temporal shifts, the characters’ stories unfold; the audience can realise the irrelevance of class and age in an unlikely friendship. In this play Emily plans to address the House of Commons, however in 1911 she failed and this play gave the audience a rare chance to hear her voice.

Through the character of Mary, we see what life was like for women in the lower classes. She considered it lucky to keep her job after having given up her baby for adoption, this moment of saddening confession provided clear juxtaposition from Emily’s speeches of power. Mary made it clear that this was not uncommon for women of the time. By the end of the evening the audience took away a clear message: women have fought for the right to be equal and society has made huge leaps but there’s still a long way to go. This topic is still relevant today, but shown in a historical setting we see the similarities in prejudice.

Scripted and devised: theatre at its best

Bedales Theatre 22nd April 2018 Web Res-5335 (Large)

By Meg Allin, 6.1

On Tuesday and Wednesday the 6.2s performed their devised pieces. Often when people enter the Bedales Theatre they see plays with many possible interpretations, which are usually hard-hitting, and these plays were no exception. To start we walked to the lake and saw two ‘women of the lake’ attack, seduce and murder a Vicar fisherman.  It included a lot of deeply rooted sounds and voices that no average actor could conjure up. The real fire, hellish music, bleeding heart and misty lake made for an atmospheric piece.

Next, back in theatre, a funny but truthful portrayal of gender inequality and double standards, featuring a lot of modern pop culture references such as Trump, Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Savile which made the comedy more shocking; a moment that struck me was strong modern women being objectified as “bossy” and men as “tough”.  This contrast raised a lot of questions among the audience about the play’s message.

A homely set was then constructed with a sofa, lamp and beanbag, following an emotional and physically meticulous piece made for a detailed telling of two lovers and their journey of nostalgia and “gut love”; this saddening but captivating piece showed us love in its most pure state, the internal world of the two men was complex and yet beautifully portrayed.

The penultimate piece featured three women in wedding dresses exploring ways that people and society handles sexual assault and rape, done with sensitivity and poise.  The three pulled off a clear, montage style piece including how to keep you ‘safe’ in a car park or on a flight.

To finish off the night, a group of butterflies graced us with singing, cling film and berries, the childish aspects ironically calmed the madness of the piece. The three created scenarios that depicted stages of a woman’s cycle, while integrating an interesting butterfly metaphor throughout. On top of all this the 6.2s have also been performing their scripted pieces, which they performed on Tuesday. A very impressive display of skill and innovation, anyone who didn’t see these plays really missed out on something special. View photos