This year’s Classics Play, Euripides’ ‘Medea’, produced and directed by Head of Classics, Mr Alastair Thorley, brought packed out audiences face-to-face with the darkness of human nature.
Playfully and humorously set in the 1960s, the story of Medea, jilted by her husband Jason and her subsequent spiral into despair and revenge, shocked and delighted the audience in equal measure.
The play challenged our preconceptions about the position of women in society, particularly about their rights in marriage, as well as forcing us to question social mobility and morality. Medea’s final violent actions shocked the modern day audience much as it would have in the 1960s when the play was set and the 5th Century when it was written.
As in previous years the cast was made up of Lower Sixth form pupils. The cast worked as a seamless ensemble whilst also allowing their own individual talents to shine through.
Anishka Sooriah, who joined the school in the Sixth Form in September, impressed as the lead Medea. Her confidence and playfulness with the audience and text created a dynamic and layered character whose emotional turmoil was convincing, even with the extremes of her actions and emotions. Mikey Gilmour, as Jason her husband, brought a maturity and arrogance to the role which created a palpable tension when he was on stage.
Other stand out performances came from the Chorus (Yasmin Coppock, Lydia Horne, Cornelia Kolusi-Dehghanpuor, Nikita Murray and Grace Patterson) who sang pieces composed specifically for the production by Mr Thorley, Mrs Jo Matthews and Lower Sixth former Andrew Goodwin. Pupils specialising in Art and Textiles also contributed their ideas and flair to the production.
Anishka Sooriah commented that being in the production was: “A completely different experience for me as I have only done musicals in the past. As I am new it has helped me to meet people and I know so many more people that I would not have done otherwise.”
Grace Patterson commented: “I love Drama and Music and I love Classics, so it was a great opportunity to combine my loves and bring elements of things I do at school together.”