The all-female cast of actresses, aged 9-18, was greeted with many rounds of applause from the packed theatre on the play’s opening night marking the beginning of an impressive run of three performances.
The young actresses took on some of Shakespeare’s most iconic male characters. These included Year 12 Helena who followed in the footsteps of Academy-award winner Dame Helen Mirren to play Prospera, rather than the masculine Prospero, deposed ruler of Milan. Year 9 Talana also took a leading role, playing the brutish Caliban.
The production showcased the burgeoning talent that the school has in a huge range of artistic disciplines. Alongside impeccable acting, costume design and set construction, there were also dance routines, both contemporary and traditional; a Cornish choral piece; a piece of video art by a Year 11 student and many other creative surprises across all disciplines which are taught at the school.
The production also showcased the talent of Year 9 Rose who accompanied the production on the harp.
Backstage, students had been hard at work designing and making impressive set pieces and intricate costumes to bring the Bard’s enchanted island to life. The main backdrop for the production was created by Isabelle, one of the school’s Year 10 art scholars. Inspired by the elemental abstraction of contemporary Cornish artist Kurt Jackson, the 15-year-old spent many months painting this colossal set piece in the school’s award-winning Art department.
An abstract piece, painted as part of Year 11 Sage’s GCSE portfolio, was also used to promote the play.
The school’s Textiles department had also been incredibly busy. Looking to everything from the RSC to Dolce & Gabbana for inspiration, its GCSE and A Level designers created a huge number of intricate costumes for the cast.
The school was even lucky enough to have Old Girl Lucie once again working the sound and lighting desk on a week-long holiday from one of country’s leading performing arts colleges, the Brit School.
It was also a particularly special production for Old Girl Ysella who, having starred in the show in 1989, saw her 13-year-old daughter, Bryher, treading the boards at school in Shakespeare’s late great masterpiece.
In addition to offering GCSE and A Level Drama, Truro High School offers LAMDA lessons, the Arts Award, dance tuition, drama clubs and major productions giving students a wealth of opportunities outside of the classroom to explore their talent in all aspects of the theatre.
Recent school productions have included Beauty and the Beast, The Crucible, Into the Woods, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Wizard of Oz, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, & Oliver!.