In the past two years our Key Stage 3 students have performed a classic work of English, (well Scottish), literature in ‘TREASURE ISLAND’ and a landmark of European theatre in ‘MOTHER COURAGE’. Continuing to widen knowledge of drama from across the world, this year we have explored Chinese traditions and Japanese Kabuki in our colourful and crazy production of ‘MONKEY- JOURNEY TO THE WEST’.
The legendary TV show from the 1970s has been an inspiration for the wild and wacky story of the Monkey King, Pigsy, Tripitaka and a strange cannibal fish creature called Sandy, as they travel across China to collect holy scriptures for Buddha. The journey is a great excuse for epic battles with Havoc Demons, bandits, Spider Maidens, evil snakes and aggressive bushes, not to mention some great opportunities to create fantastical characters such as the Star Lady Vega, Great Sage and Demon Granny. This production has a cast of 47, plus a student team responsible for stage management, spotlights and elaborate Kabuki make-up.
Given the representational style of this dramatic tradition, we have been able to dual-cast the four main characters, with Mia and Mary-Tess from Year 9 playing Monkey, Maka (Year 9) and Teniore (Year 8) as Sandy, Philip (Year 8) and Noah (Year 9) as Pigsy, and Holly (Year 8) and Cora (Year 7) as the innocent monk, Tripitaka. The role of Pigsy has been made especially memorable after a costume suggestion from Millie in the cast, and Noah and Philip have no doubt had to adapt to their enormous outfits!
Once again, Years 7 to 9 have really risen to the challenge and produced a colourful and surprising show, full of laughs and gasps, showing their versatility and fantastic teamwork. More photos on Flickr.