Review by theatre lover and former TV talent show semi-finalist Tracey Armstrong
(Tracey also has a ‘day job’ as School Administrator at Kilgarth)
On Friday 28th March I was invited to watch our Year 9 pupils present an interactive performance of their short play entitled ‘Choices’.
I entered the performance room and was presented with a stage area set up with a huge tent, under which 4 masked characters were playing cards at a table. Posters expressed the positive choices which the masked characters had agreed: ‘Be Kind to Others’, ‘Control Anger’, ‘Share Limited Resources’. It unfolded that the masked characters were making these choices for the rest of the desert islanders who were outside the tent playing games and having fun with various props that included a giant inflatable football.
I found myself questioning the use of masks in the play and of course, I then realised that it was a clever way to demonstrate the various ways we act to fit in with others in a particular group.
While the scene under the tent played out, a video of all the boys talking, laughing and singing was projected onto the giant screen at the back of the tent. Simultaneously, the audience was invited to wander around the set and study the props that the boys had made, which included various cards strewn up, and posters displaying the challenging choices which the islanders had to make.
The room was then filled with music and two of the islanders treated us to a to a hip hop dance routine displayed onto a shadow screen. This was absolutely fantastic and there was no denying the boys’ musicality as they threw some awesome shapes!
Towards the end of the performance there were a few jumps and shrieks from the audience as balloons were LOUDLY popped. The balloons represented the bad choices that had been eliminated by the masked characters in the tent and the noise added to the understanding that these bad choices had to be eradicated.
It was evident that the boys had worked hard to create the right ambience with careful production design and creativity behind the scenes.
All in all, the play was a triumph; the audience clapped and cheered as the performers took their bows.
Bravo boys! It was a treat to witness your hard work and talent.
(Thank you to Tracey for the review and also to Hope, LIPA student and director of ‘Choices’)