Of Mice and (Young) Men
This week, the Year 9 Midnite Youth Theatre Production Of Mice and Men, the novel-play by John Steinbeck, was performed in the School’s Drama Centre and directed by visiting professional actor and director Garreth Bradshaw.
Head of Drama Drew Stocker was pleased to be able to select a work that was also a Year 9 English text, giving the boys an opportunity to absorb the messages of the piece through this performance.
Mr Stocker said: “With themes of racism, sexism and euthanasia, one might expect Of Mice and Men to be a miserable play from beginning to end. But what emerged on stage this week was a hard-hitting and sometimes humorous hymn to the indomitable human spirit. The Great Depression was a hugely challenging time within which to live and the determination and spirit of the characters we saw on stage drew us into their tragic story.”
“The cast crafted their roles with truth and skill, showing emotion and attitude as well as an historical North American context of the story with great flair. Ellis Ormonde played George as a man of compassion and human fallibility - a difficult mix that he pulled off with panache. Carlin Shelton’s performance of Lennie was cleverly laconic and full of pathos.
“Our director-in-residence Garreth Bradshaw deserves congratulations for his work with the cast, developing an absorbing and very truthful piece of theatre.”
The English Department organised for all Year 9s to have the opportunity to attend together and the reviews from the boys were very positive.
Nicholas Brennan wrote: “I thought the acting was magnificent, and some parts made me think the actors were really connecting with the audience.”
Alessandro Antoci commented: “I thought that the play was great. The setting was appropriate and flexible with the many scenes. The costumes were suited to the time period and the American accents were necessary. I thought that everyone did a good job as there were many lines to learn. The play conveys many themes such as loyalty. The play was definitely worth seeing and it made my mum cry!”
Mr Bradshaw said he was very proud of his cast and crew. “Given the demanding subject matter I have been very pleased that they worked so hard to realise their characters and speak with such truth. They brought a poignant hopefulness and ‘can do’ attitude that was so prevalent in the depression in America; making the final outcome all the more bitter.”