On 11 March, New Hall School, Boreham, was visited by the Splendid Theatre Company. The Splendid Theatre Company are passionate about creating educational, challenging and vibrant theatre for young people. All students studying GCSE or A Level Drama who saw the company’s latest production of Dr Faustus, described the performance as ‘brain-prodding, heart-exposing and rib-tickling theatre’.
The Splendid Theatre company performed a creative adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s 17th century text for the students. The production retained much of the original crowd-pleasing spectacle and even some of the language, whilst bringing the audience even closer to the temptations of the demonic Lucifer, Beelzebub and Mephistopheles. Following the performance, the company held two workshops for Year 12 and Year 13. These workshops focused on developing performance-related skills and enabling students to understand the intentions and strategies of the producers, director and actors on a deeper level; this will further equip the students to analyse and evaluate theatre-makers’ work in their forthcoming A Level examinations.
One student, Aaron Liddell (Year 12), reflected, “Watching the Splendid Theatre Company was extremely interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their exciting take on such an old piece and their abstract and audience-inclusive approach. The workshop was a great way to learn how to integrate techniques that they use into devising pieces of our own for the practical components of our A Level.”
This visit is the fourth such opportunity for New Hall School’s drama students, over the past year, to engage with professionals in the performing arts industry. These included visits by Complicité and Squire Stage Combat.
Alongside its successful academic programme, New Hall School encourages students in charitable work and giving, holding fundraising events throughout the year in support of a range of charities and running the successful New Hall Voluntary service, with which all students are involved during their time at the school.
New Hall has an excellent music and performing arts provision and fantastic sports facilities and training programmes. The boarding and day school for students aged 1-18 has a Catholic foundation and ethos, which welcomes those of all backgrounds. The strong pastoral care structure at the school supports students in their endeavours, allowing them to achieve success in a wide variety of fields.
The New Hall School students with the Splendid Theatre Company