By Phil King, Director of Drama, Dance and Bedales Arts Programme
It was with a great sense of pride in recent Bedales drama and theatre studies graduates that I went to see Eve Allin’s play Charge performed at University of Warwick over the long leave weekend.
When here at Bedales, as drama Don, Eve won a major award at the National Student Drama Festival for reviewing live theatre and acted in, wrote, directed and assistant directed wonderful work while she was here. Eve was a student who made the most of the panoply of theatrical options on offer here and Charge itself was part of the National Theatre New Views enrichment course.
The National Theatre said of Eve’s final draft that it was “a play with a great sense of the visual dimension, playing with fire and light both literally and metaphorically” and this excitement was captured in a converted Chemistry lecture theatre for the recent staging. Seeing Charge as part of the week-long festival, Fresh Fest, offered me a chance to witness the energy, passion and drive great universities and great university students have for their subjects. In an age where finance seems to sadly dominate most discussions about higher education watching a focussed army of directors, producers, technicians, actors and writers put on eight plays (that had to win a competition even to get to that point, selected by other students running the societies behind the scenes) was hugely heartening.
Even more heartening was watching Eve not only holding her own but being master of her world as a sharp-elbowed and highly knowledgeable first year (who is having to be highly selective of her drama courses to avoid repetition of the grounding she received whilst with us). Well done Eve, from all of us. We very much look forward to you making your mark, first on Warwick and then beyond.
On 5 November British Playwright, Adam Brace, orchestrated a workshop for Bedalians participating in the National Theatre’s course, New Views. For this the students are to write a short, political play. The session included pitching ideas and receiving constructive feedback from Adam. We were also taught techniques on developing not only our stories, but our characters. For example, we were advised by Adam to write fifty things about each one of our characters to help us approach dialogue, which revealed incredibly useful information to take forwards. We are very fortunate to have such a writer coordinate our sessions and we look forward to having more of these classes with him this year when he reads the first and second draft of all our scripts.
ByLucas Closs, 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.