QE’s own ‘band of brothers’ – the School’s tightly knit group of senior actors – gave a powerful performance of Henry V at the 2017 Shakespeare Schools Festival.
A 23-strong cast, headed by Year 13’s Nicholas Pirabaharan in the title rôle, brought their abridged version of the history play to the ArtsDepot in North Finchley for the world’s largest youth drama festival.
Elaine White, who runs QE’s drama provision, said the ensemble had, as ever, coalesced well, with the older actors supporting the new Year 10 boys effectively as they all got to grips with Shakespeare’s account of events during the Hundred Years’ War before and after the 1415 Battle of Agincourt.
“It can be difficult delivering Shakespearean language for the first time, but our boys learn quickly and always end that journey with a thorough understanding of their part,” said Mrs White. “Their storytelling became stronger and, by the big day the final piece was well-defined, with some solid performances.
“The battle scene became one of their favourite scenes as it embodied powerful physicality and raw energy – quite daunting, especially when rehearsing in a small space!”
Mrs White added: “The SSF Venue Director, Jordana Golbourn, praised their careful choreography and the power of their performance, congratulating Year 13 pupil Mark Thomas as student Director.”
Keenan Dieobi played the French king, while his fellow Year 13 pupils, Al-Fayad Qayyum and Mohit Miyanger, took the rôles of the Duke of Exeter and Fluellen respectively. Among the backstage support were 2016 leavers Miles Huglin, Shiras Patel and Alex Wingrave.
The audience included the Headmaster, Neil Enright, and a number of other staff.
Earlier this term, festival experts led a workshop for QE’s cast and crew to help them with their preparation.