St Leonard's on Sea -Friday 25th January 2019 - Reviewed by Rachel Kemp
The whole of our year 11 cohort and their English teachers had the privilege of watching three fantastic actors from Ginificent perform a true-to-text rendition of Stevenson’s murderous tale, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in preparation for their English Literature GCSE.
For 1 hour, the front of the main hall was transformed into a scene from Victorian London and the clever set enabled students to visualise some of the more complex aspects of the novel. The name and number of each chapter was clearly displayed on a screen amidst the set, along with a voice over of key extracts and key scenes which take place on the streets of London. The three actors used a range of props, costumes and voices to portray the different lives, personalities and motives of their characters.
I was particularly impressed by the use of both sides of the set and the delivering of letters though the doors, which enabled both staff and students to consider the story, characters and themes from different perspectives.
After the performance, the actors led a discussion and our students asked some very perceptive questions about the characters and plot. The actors gave extended answers, developing the students’ understanding of theme, context and character motive, all of which will be invaluable for the summer exams.
It was a fantastic experience for both staff and students to see the only true-to-text performance available delivered in such a unique and engaging way which not only enabled students to revise their knowledge, but also made them consider the text from alternative perspectives and hear the professional actors’ interpretations of the story.
Mia Dixon 11F / 11.4 - Bournmouth School for Girls
As a member of year eleven, I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity of watching Ginificent’s production of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde on Monday 26th February. The afternoon was spent in D1, where the performance space had been cleverly transformed into a depiction of Victorian London. The cast consisted of three actors who took on a variety of excellently crafted characters, providing sincerity, along with excellent sections of humour. The production was incredibly moving, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the pages of Stevenson’s novella come to life. Ginificent developed their interpretation of the plot and underlying meanings through their use of non-naturalistic theatre, which was fantastic to watch. This was an extremely valuable experience, since it allowed us to view the characters and presentation of themes from a different perspective, and to see the novella from a three-dimensional angle. Once the play had finished, we had the chance to fire questions at the cast members during a Q and A session. This was great, since we were given the opportunity to enquire as to why certain aspects were presented in the way they were, or why the cast played the characters as they did. This section really allowed me to build upon both my contextual awareness and to see other perspectives on ideas presented in the novella. The production evoked many questions that I hadn’t thought of from reading alone, which were answered in full detail. We were able to delve into the deeper parts of the narrative, generating more unique ideas, which will be great for our summer exams. There was also the opportunity to ask about performing arts, with the cast members offering personal advice and tips for survival in such a cut-throat industry. Overall, I feel extremely grateful for being presented with this opportunity, since it has allowed me to expand my knowledge on the novella, and through watching a live performance, to really understand the feelings of the characters in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.