Shakespeare Carnival 2022

Shakespeare Carnival 2022

On Thursday April 28, a series of performances was given in the Experimental Drama Theatre to celebrate the works and legacy of William Shakespeare. This has now become a performance tradition for the Drama Co-curricular students, with the best in each category proceeding to the Regional Final later in May. There were two duologues, two group devised performances inspired by scenes or characters from the Bard’s work, and an ensemble scene from The Tempest.

Significant moments were

  • The exquisite comic timing of Numair Hassan, Hugo Nguyen and William Tran in their re-imagining of the Mechanicals scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. This was all the more impressive as one of their group had been struck down with “ye spicy coughe” at the last minute.
  • The crazy mash up of the Bard meeting Marvel in Mr Slaven’s clever welding together and modernisation of different Shakespeare tropes. Revealing and committed performances from the newest Year 7 and Year 8 members of the ensemble- Aravinda Chauhan, Alex Henry, Taner Hitay, Axel Lee, Oliver Tucker and Matthew Tse.
  • The use of space and tension in the interpretation of The Tempest. Hats off to Sam Perkin who drove the scene, ably supported by Levi Gray, Rohit Dixit, Solomon Hindle and Michael Hatzistergos
  • The sophisticated use of subtext and proxemics in Toby Henry and Nicholas Ayoub’s sophisticated interpretation of the conflict between Brutus and Cassius.
  • The raucous energy and interplay between Lochlan Demark and Oliver Kreis as Hal and Falstaff from “Henry IV, Part 1”.

Thank you to Mrs Pasfield, Mr Slaven and Mr Bradburn for their inventive input and nurturing of these performances.



“Rock N’ Roll, it will survive! Yes, it will!” – Brian Johnson of AC/DC (“Rock’n Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”)

Such blind, simple optimism was uttered, or rather screamed some 42 years ago. It is also a useful summary of the message and spirit behind this year’s major production, “School of Rock”. The story follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight–A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out?…

Of course, he can! There is no suspense in this story, but it has some really engaging “feel good” character moments, a touch of revolution, some salutary advice about parenting and quite a few bangers.

But the real story of our production is not about the longevity of rock but on the resilience of the young men and women in the cast, band and crew. As a teacher, you hear a lot of talk about resilience but in my experience, it is more of an aspirational goal, rarely a lived reality. Not so for this production and these students.

COVID sank this show once, two years ago, four weeks from opening night. These days, everyone in this reincarnated version has had an experience of COVID,  either being sick with the virus or having to isolate due to a close contact. Yet we not only persevered but thrived. Students stepped into unfamiliar roles for a period to keep the process moving forward. Brian Johnston did not have a pandemic in mind when singing his belter in 1980, but he touched on the indefatigability of the human spirit, best manifested and celebrated by a community of people engaged in artistic expression. Or, as other more eloquent rock dilettantes, like David St Hubert from “This is Spinal Tap” put it, “That’s the majesty of Rock; the mystery of Roll”. You’ll get the majesty, the mystery and madness with a good dollop of resilience in a raucous ride of a musical.

Do you want to see it? Good luck! It pretty well sold out through the families and friends of cast and crew getting in first. Probably your best chance will be Thursday May 19th where an extra show has been scheduled. There might be a handful of seats in other shows. Book your tickets through this link.

Thanks for your support.

Brendan Duhigg | Head of Drama

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