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Senior College Drama Production 'The Red Shoes'

August 20, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Playwright: Devised by the company based on the original story by Hans Christian Andersen

Venue: Dance Studio’s Saint Kentigern College

Staging: Promenade

Style: Immersive Storytelling. Ensemble/Devised Theatre.

Music: original music composed, written and performed by: Jack Hornsnell and Venice Qin

Choreography: Molly Griffiths, Isabelle Fox, Ben Shieff. 

For three nights, and six shows the new dance studios at the College were transformed into a universal landscape in which work created by the 31 strong ensemble of students who took part in the Senior College Production of ‘The Red Shoes’ was to be staged.

The well-known story is of a girl who is tempted by a pair of red shoes, which she puts on, but then cannot stop dancing. She dances everywhere and eventually becomes so tired she decides the only way out it to cut off her feet and find salvation.

The formidable Molly Griffiths, as Temptation, commanded the audience leading them between the two dance rooms, in promenade style, as we were immersed into the story of The Girl Isabelle Fox navigating her way through life as she was presented with a number of options of seemingly limited options of how her future could look. The Storytellers Jack Hornell and Venice Qin moved the audience to tears of laughter and sadness with original music which ranged from the quirky and comical to emotional ballads. These often accompanied dances which showed the incredible talent of both dancing and choreography by Ben Shieff  Clara, Molly Griffiths and Isabelle Fox.

Each time the audience returned to a room it had been transformed to somewhere The Girl travelled to, switching times, and places fluidly, adding a dream-like, or fairy-tale nature to the play. The strong ensemble of actors who ranged from seasoned year actors  to newcomers were outstanding, creating a rich and fantastical world where this fantasy could take place.

Students delved into the devising process and each scene was developed through the use of improvisation. Rehearsals involved students playing and experimenting with ideas that were fed to them about the essence of each scene. Thomas Webster worked as our Assistant Director and did a wonderful job of building ideas, working with his peers to develop scenes and playing a professional role in the whole process. 

This was truly an ensemble piece of theatre and the students learnt much from the demands of the style, forcing them to problem-solve and create. It was a collaborative, creative and imaginative journey.

In typical fairy-tale style, the piece if macabre, but the comedy, bright and vibrant costumes and energy from the strong cast meant this piece was anything but grim. It was an eclectic blend of drama, movement and voice, it was bold and challenged our actors and audience with powerful storytelling.

 

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