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Home > News and Events > A level Drama Trip to London

A level Drama Trip to London

30 Sep 22

Last Thursday A level drama and theatre students from Year 12 and 13 were treated to a day of theatre in London.  After a spot of lunch the trip began with a matinee performance of Life of Pi before an evening performance of The Burnt City, a site-specific promenade piece by Punchdrunk. Year 13 drama prefects Lily and Evie kindly offered to share their thoughts on these inspiring productions. 


“Our trip to London last Thursday took us to see the production the Life of Pi at Wyndham’s Theatre – which ended up being an emotional rollercoaster heightened by the incredible puppetry, illuminations, and projections.  Whilst initially it seems questionable to take Life of Pi – in which a young Pi is shipwrecked on a dingy with a Bengal tiger, each fighting to survive – on to the stage, Max Webster directed it perfectly to translate the novel into a brilliant production with the help of a very talented team.  The production’s excellence was driven massively by its incredible use of puppetry to bring the animals of the well-known tale to life – especially the famous Richard Parker.  It was unbelievably easy to find yourself forgetting each animal was a puppet and not real, with the actor’s incredible fluidity in their movement capturing the true way each animal moved alongside their sounds.  Whilst each actor wholeheartedly perfected their role adding to the incredible result of the play, the creative team, in my opinion, were the driving force behind just how magical the production was, making it truly worthy of its five Olivier Award nominations.  Tim Hatley deserves every praise under the sun for the set design, the way the floor was used to completely change the set – the boat Pi is on rises out of the floor, and the way the back windows of the stage open to also create different sets, the zoo the family lived on and the ship that sinks.  The flooring of the stage also revolved, rotating round allowing for change of setting but also utilised as capturing the storm and the movement of water throughout the production.  All in all, we were incredibly lucky to be able to see such incredible artistry, especially as those of us in Year 13 begin to think about our next practical exam piece.” 


“The second performance was an immersive piece by Punchdrunk called The Burnt City, based on the myths of the Trojan war, set in two enormous buildings, one representing Troy and the other Greece.  Before we entered the performance space, we were encouraged to wear white skull like masks to conceal our identity, almost making us part of the performance.  As we entered, we were immediately met with an incredible set, with downstairs representing a battlefield and the upstairs Agamemnon’s palace, with a huge staircase interconnecting them both.  Here I encountered my first actor, performing beautiful, dynamic choreography, showcasing their extraordinary physicality.  Following the actors, I then found myself travelling from desolate and gloomy Greece to the neon city of Troy, which had a more euphoric feel, with throbbing electric beats and quirky tourist shops.  As I moved through strange doors and peculiar hallways I met many actors along the way, all performing incredible choreography, intertwining their bodies to tell stories of passion, jealousy, and love.  The whole experience left me feeling enormously inspired and I can’t wait to start working on our own Punchdrunk-inspired piece soon.  Punchdrunk you were awe-inspiring!” 

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