Schools respond to Brave New World
Schools respond to Brave New World
1 December 2015
What are schools from around the country taking from their visit to see Brave New World at their local theatre? More importantly, what do the students make of it all? We're rounding up some of the best responses and will continue to update until the end of the tour in December. Missing your school? If you're not featured here, get in touch and let us know how you've been exploring Brave New World.
"The Drama Department was delighted to welcome Mr Michael Immerson, from the Creative Partnership team based at Northampton Theatre Royal into Stowe on Thursday 24 September, for a day of practical, participatory workshops linked to Brave New World.
70 pupils who study Drama at A2, AS and GCSE Level went to see it in performance. Michael ran two, two hour workshops which touched on themes and ideas explored in the play and all the Stoics involved responded very positively to his suggestions. It was pleasing for my colleagues and me to see just how well the different age groups got on together and how they supported and encouraged each other to explore a range of drama related staging techniques and performance skills."
"A group of fifty boys travelled to the King’s Theatre to watch Brave New World. As a key text of Science Fiction, many boys knew it by name or reputation, but did not know the story, and this production was a good way to introduce it. The small cast of about ten actors managed to bring all the characters to life vividly, and Huxley’s dystopian vision was vividly realised, even though it did not solve the problems inherent in the story. The visit was part of this term’s Arts Programme."
"Last week Oxford Playhouse found its usually quiet Wednesday evening theatre performance, unexpectedly heaving with EF Academy students and staff, as a grand total of 118 made their way down to see Brave New World.
With its relevancy to such a wide range of subjects; Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Politics and Sociology to name a few, let alone its position within English Literature’s recognised masterpieces, this seemed the perfect play to introduce the students to British Theatre at its best, and with the overwhelmingly positive response that was given by the students at the end of the evening, the show lived up to expectations."
First year English students reviewed the show, saying
"This play was really interesting and it made me think about the difference of being happy and being free, differences between utopia and dystopia as the author’s utopia wasn’t ours utopia. It is also a play with many details that sometimes you don’t notice the first time you see it because it’s scenario is very elaborated. I truly recommend it to people with open mind."
Read more on the EF Academy blog
Stratford Girls' Grammar School
"It was very well adapted and cast, allowing its warnings regarding politics so right-wing that it becomes left-wing and the effects of over-modernisation and industrialisation to show without it seeming crude or cliché, all while making a great impact on its audience and being incredibly thought-provoking." Chesh, Year 11
Bilborough Sixth Form
Loved a comment from one of my students about #BraveNewWorld 'it made me think. I'm going to do more thinking' dangerous stuff 'thinking'— Bilborough Drama (@BilboroughDrama) October 16, 2015
"On Friday 16th October, dance students from Years 10 to 13 visited the Nottingham Theatre Royal. The students took part in a session related to the technical aspects of professional productions. The session included a tour of the theatre and backstage given by David Longford, the Creative Learning Manager. Neale Birch from Touring Consortium Theatre Company informed the group about the process of creating a professional production as well as demonstrating a range of lighting effects on the set of their latest production Brave New World. The session was good preparation for the GCSE and AS Dance written exams."
Millbrook Performing Arts School
Jenny Cameron, a teacher at the academy, created a workshop for her year 12 class with the help of ex-student Joshua Patel, who has gone on to work with Frantic Assembly. Jenny played the group three of the pieces of music from the production and asked them to work with one of them. For the final piece used at the end of the show, she didn't tell them the context as she didn't want to spoil the show for them! However, that was the one they chose to work with. They felt it represented unity and then destruction.
Jenny said "The year 12s, who are using this as their stimulus for a BTEC project pulled out a lot they will use in their own work, particularly the slickness, the pace, the multi-roling, and the use of music and movement."
"We've had an awful lot of discussion about Brave New World - it's probably the show that's been most talked about! Lots of very positive comments about the visual impact of the show, and about some of the movement sequences - particularly the opening section. Some loved it, some found it uncomfortable - but for reasons they were able to articulate effectively, one boy said it made him angry because of the way John was treated."
Conyers Sixth Form, Stockton on Tees
Brave New World at Darlington Civic amazing production. What a fantastic learning opportunity for students. Power of theatre ..overwhelming— Brenda Oxlee (@oxlee53) November 12, 2015
@TCTcompany my students are 'stunned' 'overwhelmed' and think the production was the best thing they've seen.— Brenda Oxlee (@oxlee53) November 12, 2015
Have we missed your school? Get in touch with us on Twitter @TheatreCloud or email us at [email protected]. Don't forget to check out our learning page for all of our resources around Brave New World, including video interviews with writer Dawn King and director James Dacre.
Brave New World premieres at Royal and Derngate, Northampton, where it runs from 4 to 26 September 2015. It then tours to Edinburgh, Blackpool, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Darlington and Bradford where it concludes on 5 December.