So as it's GCSE results day, and I'm bored, I thought why not talk about what plays you did at school and whether you loved/hated them...in English or Drama class. And whether/how long it took you to learn to love them again....
I HATED my GCSE drama class, not least for the fact I was dressed in an actual net curtain for 'A midsummer night's dream' (I was a fat kid, it was not a good look) and that in my rough comp 'rehearsals' were and excuse to bunk off and beat each other up.
Plays I still loved from school: Othello, Dream.
Plays I hated then and hate now: Romeo and Juliet, Blood Brothers.
Plays I eventually grew to love: Hamlet (ok that was University but I hated that little Dane for a long time)
Post by Cardinal Pirelli on Aug 24, 2017 9:58:18 GMT
O Level English - Twelfth Night (novel was 1984), I remember having to do a personal project for the exam, which I did on Beckett. A Level English Lit - King Lear (plus Emma, The Waste Land etc.), there were numerous other small essays we had to do that were assessed, such as Equus (or was that O Level?), Ways of Seeing etc. Plays/Musicals I was in at school - My Fair Lady, Bartholomew Fair (Ben Jonson), Black Comedy (Peter Shaffer) etc.
Too early for the school I was at to be teaching Drama separately. I'd say that I got something out of all of them.
In Primary / Junior School: Loved "Henry V" and "The Merchant of Venice." Carefully filleted so we could understand, and we did.
In Senior High: disliked "Chicken Soup With Barley," really, really hated the Scottish Play. Luckily, I'd seen both outside of the WWET's* classroom, so I ignored the useless ***t and educated myself to the level of theatrical knowledge I fake today.
As for "drama class" - lunchtime club in primary (beat a cold playground), and I think a term of it in Junior High until the teacher quit for a safer job elsewhere.
Shows we did, I loved them all, pretty much, Joseph, The Mikado, Smike, Treasure Island and an amazing "Anne Frank's Diary."
Post by samuelwhiskers on Aug 24, 2017 10:08:41 GMT
GCSE: Taming of the Shrew (loved it then, like it now). A Level: King Lear as part of comparative lit with Thousand Acres (I like Lear fine but I've seen approx 5000 productions of it and I never need to see another. See also: Midsummer Night's Dream).
I didn't really study much Shakespeare in school, though I was reading the plays and seeing productions outside of school from a young age. I used to love Macbeth and 12th Night, and hate the "boring" histories. Now my favourite play is Richard II.
We also never did any extracurricular plays at School (did I mention it was rough as...) which does make me sad as I'd have liked to do some kind of performance. However on that note my Primary School Choir Master introduced me to the world of musical theatre...he was shall we say slightly camp.
Post by Honoured Guest on Aug 24, 2017 10:21:32 GMT
O Level English - Henry V A Level English - Hamlet, Macbeth, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Acting at school - The Duke in Darkness (Patrick Hamilton) The local newspaper review praised everyone else but said that, as the malevolent duke, I was more like the wicked queen in Snow White. The Masters (C.P.Snow) I had two lines, as the Porter, and forgot one of them (Your car is here, Sir) thus depriving the main character of his motivation to exit the stage. My Three Angels (Sam and Bella Spewack) Had a panic attack in rehearsal of our opening descent from the roof so, in performance, the other two convicts arrived onstage from above and I shuffled on from the wings. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Bertolt Brecht) Hours before the first performance I engaged in a teat pipette fight in Chemistry which permanently scarred my wrist so I had to perform with one arm in a sling. Rosmersholm (Henrik Ibsen) The most disastrous of all, with the smallest and least experienced cast, one of whom failed to learn their lines. Ubu Enchained (Alfred Jarry) My one successful role was Ma Ubu, evil Queen of Po-Land. Summer Leavers' Revue (anon, various) My friend and I, in teeny trunks, were groped by two Frank N Furters who were selecting a partner. I loved it, my brother was outraged, the Headmaster's wife burst into hysterical laughter, and my participation was criticised because I wasn't actually leaving.
Post by Cardinal Pirelli on Aug 24, 2017 10:52:11 GMT
Primary School, late sixties/early seventies had us troop into the hall to listen to 'the school radio', usually a programme called 'music and movement' where you pretended to be trees and stuff whilst trying to retain at least some semblance of four year old dignity.*
As Tvcream explain "Arcane Swiss sociology exported as near-naked prancing on splintering wooden floors. For decades after World War Two primary school kids had their cognitive skills ostensibly honed by the aural equivalent of cod liver oil: a frosty-voiced BBC matron encouraging them to act out an activity in time with a piece of music picked out in lacklustre fashion on a battered piano. Quick, get into a space, it's time to do ‘our wide dance’."
I'm very jealous! My school was pretty crap regarding the arts - it was very science oriented, which was unusual for a girls' school. My brother's school was the opposite - they had a stage and used it, and did lots of Tennessee Williams, which I'd have loved to have done but they loathed (as I discovered when I got him a coveted ticket to the Maxine Peake Streetcar last year - he refused to go). In English, we did wall-to-wall Shakespeare, from ancient, censored textbooks (the teacher had to write the rude bits on the blackboard for us to copy in!), and loads of Arthur Miller. I've avoided most of them since, apart from The Tempest and Macbeth, which I still love. I remember much joy when the teacher put Derek Jarman's Tempest on the school video without, presumably, having watched it first, and hurriedly switched it off when Ferdinand emerged full-frontal from the sea.
We did do drama, but not as an o-level, just reading it out loud and the odd bits of improv in a attic room, and did some unlikely things - Victoriana like The Bells and The Ticket of Leave Man (no kidding!). A bunch of us pestered to be allowed to do Theatre Studies, though we were warned (rightly, as it turned out) many universities back then didn't take it seriously as an A-level. The curriculum for that seemed to be John Osborne. Chekhov, Turgenev, though in the design/costume option, where you could pick your own, I did Antigone and some Brecht. At the time, I was into stuff like Edward Bond and Genet and it was the Nicholas Hytner / Ian McDiarmid era at the nearby Royal Exchange and it seemed like a different world - it was that, much of it being discovered through TV programmes like Arena and arts reviews (and being taken to Manchester by middle-class neighbours who were colleagues of Hytner's parents!) rather than school, that really got me into theatre.
Oh our music department seemed to implode when I was in Year 9, so I was distinctly lacking in any musical education. I do remember watching Tosca on VHS though... and we had a Commitments poster on the music room wall!
Another thing that will date some of us...educational TV shows...my 90s kids who remember 'Look and Read' from Primary School (and the most genius 'Through the Dragon's Eye' and 'Geordie Racer')
* For music it was 'Singing Together', with such glories as 'Michael Finnegan'.
This had a book of songs for each term, which were all learned over the course of the series and at the very end of the term came the climactic culminatory moment when each class member cast their vote for their favourite song, in a spooky fore-shadowing of our interactive culture of today!
Most of the songs were very jolly but my strong favourite was Black Sir Harry (Black was his plume/ Black was his shield / ...) sung to a tune of notes apparently composed in a random order, somewhere between a minor key and atonality. Everyone else in the class, including Mrs Wimbush, HATED Black Sir Harry but he had seduced me. So, in our class's end-of-term vote, Black Sir Harry came last with just two votes, cast by me and the boy who sat beside me, who I suspected was supporting me rather than the dark knight.
Well. I'll have to try to go back through the rolodex of my brain to remember some of the plays we covered at school but I do recall being a showstopping Joseph in 'Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' which my parents found most disconcerting as I believe they came into it thinking that it was a version of the nativity. Not altogether the Joseph they were expecting. They were fabulously entertained though. Probably drunk I imagine.
I was often the Maggie Smith of my school productions. Mince on, steal the entire show. Mince off.
I once recall beginning the week's run of the pantomime as the Genie in 'Aladdin' in two scenes and ended the week in seven.
Not sure why because I'm usually rather shy and retiring.