The dog finally has its day! Live theatre returns to QE

The dog finally has its day! Live theatre returns to QE

Twice postponed because of Covid-19, the 2021 School Play, an adaptation of the best-selling book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, has finally been performed.

A cast drawn from Year 9 performed the play to their year group classmates in the morning and then again to parents, staff and visitors after school.

Crispin Bonham-Carter, Assistant Head (Pupil Involvement), said: “After all the disappointments surrounding the previous postponements, this was a good day, even though a couple of cast members still had to miss it because they were isolating: it was just fantastic to have live theatre taking place in the School once again, and for boys to have the opportunity to perform to an external audience.

“I pay credit to our resident Theatre Director, Gavin Malloy, for helping the boys construct such an impactful presentation of the story. Hopefully, the success of this production will inspire other pupils to get involved in drama opportunities, such as the free workshops that Mr Malloy runs.”

Based on Mark Haddon’s award-winning novel, the moving, darkly comic, and ultimately inspiring story centres on the challenges a boy with autism faces in navigating the world. It also explores themes of family breakdown and the mystery of who killed Wellington, the eponymous dog.

The performance captured the full dynamic range of the story, from the chaotic, disorientating noise and bustle of public spaces (with which the protagonist, Christopher Boon, struggles), and the outbursts of anger as the nature of the family breakdown is laid bare, to the intimate and emotional moments as Christopher’s parents try to explain what has been happening.

“All the acting performances were strong, but William Joanes, in the lead role, did a superb job, being on stage for the vast majority of the production. Appropriately for QE, his character gets an A* in A-level Maths before the play is out!” said Mr Bonham-Carter.

“The cast, technical crew and director were also brilliant, with the performance ‘in the round’ really drawing the audience into the heart of the action. The staging was particularly effective and was aided by the great work on the sound and lighting by Old Elizabethan Chris Newton, of School Stage.

“Well done all – it was worth the wait!” Mr Bonham-Carter added.