Junior Founder’s Day Plays

As part of the Founder’s Day Arts Week, this year the Third and Fourth Forms performed two plays directed by Matt Smith.

Jason and the Argonauts, by Kerry Frampton & Mal Smith, is Splendid Productions’ adaptation of the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, written in the 3rd century BC. It is a classic quest in which the hero embarks on a sea voyage to an unknown land, with a great task to achieve: retrieving a magical golden fleece.

How To Think The Unthinkable, by Ryan Craig, is an adaptation of Sophocles’ Antigone. The tragedy about a young woman who stood up against the power of the state to fight for what she believed in has resonated with writers and artists across the centuries: the universal theme of standing up to a despotic ruler for your beliefs, holding fast to personal morality against an immoral state, acquires new meaning in the context of each retelling.

Lower Sixth Former Poppy S wrote about Jason:

When I sat down in the Theatre waiting for the curtain to open, I really did not know what to expect from Jason and the Argonauts. However, from the moment the performance began, it was a captivating display of physical theatre. The combination of the vibrant chorus and brilliant individual performances produced a comedic and enjoyable night for the audience. An interesting display of Brechtian techniques, unique choreography and brilliant music made Jason and the Argonauts a great success. The whole cast should be proud! Mr Smith and Miss Edwards directed a truly uplifting piece.

Lower Sixth pupil Theo C commented:

The audience was treated to two plays this year, both interpretations of classical Greek tales. The first was a Brechtian reimagining of Jason and the Argonauts and his quest for the Golden Fleece. The cast was explosive with their energy and comedy, delivering laughs all around; acting as a chorus, the pupils narrated the story to the audience with fourth wall breaks and often hilarious self-aware jokes. They also used their physicality to create epic spectacles of the different beasts and exotic environments Jason encountered on his journey. This was a thoroughly entertaining start to the evening.
What followed was a more sombre and dramatic piece – a modern version of the story of Antigone; this was an emotional and powerful piece of theatre. The strong performances of each of the characters added to their depth – as all were put into morally difficult situations – making their struggles feel genuine, leaving a lasting impact on the audience. This stark contrast in both atmosphere and tone from the previous piece showcased the incredible versatility of the cast too. Overall, both Junior Plays made for a great evening of theatre, providing both emotional moments as well as laughs.

The cast of the Junior Founder’s Day Play, Jason & The Argonauts, had an energetic and creative three-hour workshop with the author of the play, Kerry Frampton, founder of Splendid Productions, a theatre and education company. It was a great pleasure to welcome Kerry back to give a workshop on Jason.

It was a really energetic and immersive afternoon. The general aura of the room was completely non-judgemental, and any shyness or self-consciousness soon disappeared from the room during the workshop. I felt that I was able to take what we had already created to exciting new heights.
(Grace T, Fourth Form)

Kerry immediately put everyone at ease with comedy and ice breaker exercises. She showed us her interpretation of her play and helped us with imagery and physicality of our characters. Her techniques on creating characters out of inanimate objects was inventive and original. The workshop has influenced me and others in our performances.
(Charlie T-W)

I am sure that all the students totally enjoyed this workshop. As soon as you entered the Theatre you could feel the mood of inspiration and creativity that Kerry brought with her. Kerry taught us a couple of interesting techniques and gave us an idea of how she sees her play, which helped everybody better understand the piece.
(Sofiia S)

During the workshop Kerry taught us many ways to use nothing but our body to perform. We then put all the new techniques we learnt into the play. We could immediately see how much we improved after some coaching, whilst also having lots and lots of fun during the afternoon!
(Harry Z)