Senior School tackles Shakespeare

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Senior School tackles Shakespeare

Double bill

This year’s Senior School production saw the pupils take on two of the greatest plays in Shakespeare’s folio – Julius Caesar and Henry V.

Women were not allowed on stage in Elizabethan times and as a consequence, Shakespeare has few female roles of any substance, but it seemed appropriate with the 20th anniversary of co-education at Exeter School to offer equal opportunity to both boys and girls and therefore we created an all-female cast to tackle Julius Caesar and an all-male cast to take on Henry V.

The pupils did an amazing job, presenting two very different productions. The style of each production couldn’t have been more contrasting, with the slick, complex choreography of Julius Caesar compared to the humorous and often silly Henry V.

Head of Drama Jamie Brough said the girls approached their production with ultimate professionalism; dedicated and ambitious in rehearsal, resulting in a dark and dangerous presentation of their play.

“The boys were enthusiastic and bold in their mocking of the French and the Welsh characters in the play, resulting in an often hilarious performance,” he said.

“The lead females in Lara Inglis-Jones, Maddy King, Demelza May and Alisha Singleton gave impressive performances of a dense and complex text, ably supported by Bella Allan and the ensemble cast.

Matthew Francis admirably led the boys as Henry V, finding great gravitas and charisma. The ensemble of Henry V perfectly balanced the heart-warming patriotism of the play with the slapstick humour of the ‘simple’ English soldiers and the mocking of the arrogant French court.

“Special mention should go to both Matthew Francis and Will Pearce who led the boys’ cast with aplomb and it will be sad to think that this was their final performances on the Exeter School stage – they have both set the bar very high for future performances.

“As ever if was a delight to be involved with such a talented cast and crew,” he said.

“It was a real team effort this year and I would like to thanks everyone involved in both the casts and crews.”