By: Dorothy Englert, Head of Drama

Last Monday nine enthusiastic and talented Year 12 Drama and Theatre Studies students performed their immersive take on the story of Hansel and Gretel inspired by the work of Punchdrunk. At 9pm, to an audience of around 30 personally invited students, the Year 12 group welcomed their audience and guided them from the studio into the woods and finally to the under Chapel classroom as the audience followed the plight of Hansel and Gretel (Rupert Vaughan and Aine Craig) as they made their way in to the dark of the night and into the clutches of the people trafficker (Jack Nicholson) and his mercenary gang played by the ensemble. Organising a soundscape rigged to the trees outside the studio and lighting trees with green lights to create a nightmarish environment, the group enjoyed manipulating the emotions of their audience by blindfolding them as they entered the traffickers’ den under the Chapel where they used torches and candle-effect lights to create an eerie and threatening space. The piece taking the Grimms’ fairy tale as the frame explored the dreadful plight of parents (played here by Holly Van Assen and Joseph Most) so desperate to save their children that they will send them alone on the refugee trail paying inflated prices to people smugglers who care little for their charges.

At the end of the performance we had a question and answer session where students responded to excellent questions and reflections on the work from the students attending. It was splendid to see this group of A Level students producing this good work so early on in their course.

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