The annual House Plays Festival wrapped up last Friday in a maelstrom of existentialism, veganism, zombies, pop culture references and fairytales.
It was not to be missed. But for those who did, fear not, because here lies a sort-of-like-the-real-thing-if-you-close-your-eyes-and-imagine-it type of description.
On the night, we had Franklin up first. No House Plays Festival would be complete without fairytales. We're indebted to Franklin and their directors, Jessica Stewart and Shona Jackson, for their twist on this classic genre, featuring giant frogs eating things, and a whisked up batch of fairytales good enough for Gordon Ramsay.
Laver up next, also took some cues from the chefs of the world, and took something a bit old, and a bit boring, and added some tang to it. That's right, Laver, directed by Soraya Le Marshall and Ryan Hamilton performed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) - except Hamlet - in under 25 minutes. All this, despite the fact that a last minute ruckus left them without a cast due to the unfortunate convergence of Dinner, Dairy and Diarrhoea.
Veivers followed Laver like a dog following its master, which fittingly was exactly what Veiver's play was about. Existentialism and Dogs. Perhaps written by a modern Shakespeare (student Rosie Gamble), it was a sparse yet brilliant production directed by Rosie Gamble and Michael Redfern which left no reasonable doubt that existentialism will soon become the predominant philosophical current among bourgeois intellectuals.
But there's nothing like the threat of a zombie invasion to make you forget all that high brow intellectual stuff. Running from a horde of zombies will surely leave some cuts which bleed red blood. Fitting then, that the red house, Starkey, led by Jessica Hossy and Eloise Bourke, put on such a gloriously gory show. So well done was the bloody performance that many an audience member presumably left the theatre a vegan.
Unlucky for them, because as it turns out, the protagonist of the next play, from Andrews, didn't have much of a liking for vegans. Written and directed by Xsarea Power and Declan Roberts, this show was unlikely to be like any other. The classic ‘damsel in distress’ plot was turned upside down and shaken until all the boring bits fell off and we were left with the delightfully low-fat, dairy-free and vegan show which we all voraciously ate up with our eyes.
After digesting all these plays, our adjudicator, Mr JP Vizcay-Wilson, ex-Somerset student and current actor with Shake & Stir Theatre Company, delivered a delicious adjudication to our expectant ears.
Acting awards were presented to the following for their polished performances:
Dominic Bensley - (Starkey)
Ella Hammond - (Andrews)
- The Minions: Abby Roach, Sebastian Angliss-Li, Ziggy Enoch, Madeleine Strickland - (Laver)
Jessica Lekich - (Laver)`
Mr Vizcay-Wilson delivered the Adjudicator's Award to Rosie Gamble and Michael Redfern for their direction of the Veiver's play, which also won Best Overall Play. Well done, Veivers!
Thanks must go to all those involved in organising the Festival. The Technical Services Crew, the staff volunteering to assist on the nights, heads of house for supporting each house, as well as all of the student directors and cast.
Above all, thanks must go to Mrs Roberts, Ms Flynn, Ms Green and Mrs Fisher who helped coordinate and organise the Festival. Without them, these plays could not come to fruition so it is with the utmost sincerity that we thank them for their efforts.
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