Shrewsbury School

An apple a day keeps Richard away...

Monday 2 July 2018

In the final week of term, the Ashton Theatre hosted Heather May’s Shrewsbury School directing debut, Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’, performed by a cast of 27 Third and Fourth Formers. Many thanks to Charlie Tonks (L6) for her review and to William Temple (William Temple Photographer) for the photographs.

When watching the play one is immediately struck by the astonishing professionalism demonstrated both on and offstage by such a young ensemble. Tom Allen of Churchill’s Hall played the eponymous Richard exuding confidence, affirming to all those watching that the theatre is his natural habitat.  The opening direct address captivated the audience with Tom’s clear annunciation, a rarity for young actors performing Shakespeare. 

Not to be deceived by the pink, girlish exterior, Amber Worthington beautifully embodied a strong and empowered woman fighting attempts of an oppressive patriarchy. Georgiana Cooper was full of emotive expression with her grace and elegance taking the entire stage by storm. Moreover, her monochromatic costume reflected her bold and gutsy attitude. 

The technical team put a clever twist on transitions, juxtaposing the Shakespearean language with the live singing of Imogen Morgan; one must admire her ability to fill the auditorium with such spine-tingling sound. 

Ed Tarling fruitfully embodied the manipulative Buckingham, brilliantly marrying the suave with the slimy. On the theme of villainy, Orlando Williams carried off his malevolence with a subtle yet self-assured demeanour, setting a good example to his younger cast members. 

Statuesque and feisty, Phoebe’s power-suit reflected Miss May’s intention to introduce modern eclecticism into such a traditional play. This was most effective in making the performance appeal to a modern audience and further engendered a feeling of power onstage. 

Finally, Oscar Hamilton-Russell wins the award for the most sonorous and clear voice, confidently adding Shakespearean soliloquies to his repertoire.  

Huge congratulations to Miss May and her incredibly talented cast for pulling off such a dramatic and forceful play with high energy – difficult to emulate in the last week of a busy year. 

Please click on the large image below to open a gallery of photos:

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