BLOOD AND PASSION – Waterhead Academy

Review of Waterhead Academy’s production of BLOOD AND PASSION, Scenes from Shakespeare

 

I went to Waterhead Academy’s first drama production and whilst scenes from Shakespeare performed by year 7 to year 11 students didn’t sound too inspiring, how wrong could I have been?

Mrs. M Workman who wrote, produced and directed the show took scenes from HenryV, Macbeth,

Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and joined them together with a narrator who helped tell the stories.

I particularly liked how war was represented by modern day army uniforms and music and dance. Sam Leonard gave an excellent, convincing performance as the king. Mr. Corbley as the narrator, Professor Falstaff took us on to the famous ‘mad’ scene in Macbeth where Lady Macbeth was played by Paige Garth. With eerie staging, lighting and sound, Page portrayed the lady’s madness really well, ably assisted by Nazmeen Iqbal and Lukmann Mehmood as the Gentlewoman and Doctor respectively.

In Romeo and Juliet, Hamza Pervaz was a handsome, flamboyant Romeo. Hamza had the audience convinced of his undying love for Juliet, ably played by Charlotte Bradley. The lighting of the balcony was wonderful and Romeo’s comings and goings caused amusement and laughter in the audience.

The musical interlude by Adena Dewar who gave us a song from ‘West Side Story’ another version of the the Romeo and Juliet story, was lovely and lyrical, she is an outstanding singer for one so young.

Mr Corbley came into his own when he popped up in the audience making members of it jump in surprise! He made us laugh and led us on to the next excerpt, Hamlet. Shazaib Qumar was an eloquent, well-dressed Hamlet, whose portrayal of the role was excellent. Ruth Jones as Ophelia was also well turned out in a pretty costume and whilst her first night performance was a little hesitant she came into her own on the Friday night performance, when she was much more confident.

The final excerpt was the ‘play within a play’ from A Midsummer Night’s Dream when Peter Quince‘s somewhat incompetent workmen gave us a performance of the classic love story, Pyramus and Thisbe. Bilal Sahir masterfully brought ‘The Wall’ to life, while Jack Dobson made the audience laugh at his portrayal of ‘The Moon’ The Lion was suitably frightening played by Luke Spragg in the first performance, while played by his stand-in on the Friday due to an accident. His stand-in gave a wonderful performance at such short notice.

Special mention goes to Jorge Cox and Joe Hurst as the lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe, Joe looking positively ‘girly’ in his red velvet dress and fetching blonde, curly wig. The two of them had great comedy timing, and Jorge’s death scenes had the audience prostrate with laughter.

The finale was a wonderful dance scene, when all the dead rose from the dead and danced to lively music whilst taking their individual and collective bows. The audience’s applause brought forward an encore on both evenings in the form of the dance all over again.

The evening ended with the audience receiving an invitation to refreshments and home baked heart shaped biscuits which were very well received. The performance was a complete success and Mrs. Workman should be very proud of her actors. The students kept to Shakespeare’s script whilst Mr BNCorbley spoke to us in modern day English, he did sometimes stumble over his lines and could have been funnier but the students were practically word perfect. Waterhead Academy is a wonderful venue and has a purpose built theatre so I sincerely hope that there will be many more productions for us to look forward to seeing.

 

© Carolina de la Cruz – January 2013.

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