Shrewsbury School

A Week in the life of Jack Viljoen (M LVI)

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Jack played the key part of Sir John Falstaff in the 2011 School Play 'Henry IV', that was performed in the Ashton Theatre on four consecutive nights in the week that we asked him to write about. If you click through to see the Flickr slideshow of images from Henry IV, you will find they are much sharper if you untick the 'Embiggen' check box under Options (top right of the black background).

JackViljoen as Sir John FalstaffMonday 21st November:
A normal Monday I daresay. Nothing much to be expected, nothing truly extraordinary waiting to occur. Lessons passed monotonously, as they usually do, and all was normal. I departed for French satellite TV as soon as the last period of the day came to an end, and then indulged myself in some appetising KH Dinner. However, the evening brought with it the first, non-make up, Dress Rehearsal of the School Play. An extremely nervous event for the entire cast, especially myself considering not 24 Hours previously I had been shouted at by Mr Fanning for being “absolutely rubbish.” Please note that this is not a real quote, the actual words were much worse. However, despite not having our fantastic Sound-man, Ali Webb, the Rehearsal went fairly well, and without any major incidents. Altogether a good Monday.

Tuesday 22nd November:
Tuesday is usually one of my better days. An inspiring double period of German first thing in the morning, and then GPR after break. GPR being, of course, my Complimentary Study that takes place on both Tuesday and Friday during the free periods. While being quite enjoyable and interesting, GPR does however leave me with only one free period in the whole week. Then I was rather surprisingly selected for the Moser’s Hall 2nd House squad, due to play Oldham’s that afternoon. And, even more surprisingly than that, we triumphed. Then, that evening it was, of course, the second Dress Rehearsal for the play, which also went very smoothly despite the absence of Mr Moore.

Standoff: Sienna Holmes & Jack Viljoen in Henry IVWednesday 23rd November:
My favourite day by a large margin must naturally be Wednesday. Only a half-day of lessons, and then School Fencing training during the afternoon. But most importantly, it was the opening night of the play. I cannot even begin to describe the tension in the lower green room beforehand. But, as the review states, it was fantastic!

Thursday 24th November:
Again one of my favourite days of the week. Another half-day of lessons followed by Thursday Afternoon Activities. I am part of a dedicated team that writes the Public Nose, a fortnightly newspaper attempting to address some student issues. Then, the second night of the play approached. I cannot say it was one of my better performances, but altogether pretty good, owing to the odd spot of second night complacency.

Friday 25th November:
Most people would consider Friday as one of their most preferred days, however I can’t say it is one of mine. A full day of lessons really can take the life out of me, especially at the end of week. The day brought with it no major events other than the third night of the play. Yet another triumph for the cast, performing to a very large audience indeed.

Saturday 26th November:
I would probably rank Saturday as second best in my favourite days of the week. Yet another half-day, and a Fencing match at 2 o’clock. But, most importantly, it was the final night that we would perform Henry IV. There can be only one word to describe it. Magnificent! The show went spectacularly, and afterwards the entire cast celebrated at the after party. Mr Fanning made a moving speech, and we presented him with his gift. Altogether, one of the best days I have ever had at Shrewsbury School.

Sunday 27th November:
Finally, I could relax, and let the stress of the week trickle away. After an inspiring sermon by Reverend Dobbie, I went home with my parents and had, what I think was a well earned rest.

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