Our troupe, a touring theatre ensemble from Wesley College in Melbourne, Australia, arrived at Bedales last week.
Consisting of students from 14 to 18 years of age, we were all actively involved in two theatre pieces, the first of these, Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors, was a modern adaption of the classic commedia dell’arte play The Servant of Two Masters and allowed us to explore the subtle divide between our own sense of humour and that of our British audience. The second of the two pieces, Theatre X, was a far darker and more abstract piece devised by our own troupe. Employing techniques from absurdist theatre and the Theatre of Cruelty, we endeavoured to explore the violence and depravity present in basic human nature. Using techniques of alienation, we imposed upon our audience a confronting and stylised piece, presenting the inhuman nature of the modern person’s relationship with death and suffering.
Particularly enriching was the opportunity to partake in the Bedales Sixth Form drama classes; during these sessions, we learned alongside the students about various theatre practitioners and theatrical methods. We found the abstract and intricate style developed by Richard Wilson to be complementary to the tone of our own theatrical explorations. Our time at Bedales, though brief, was incredibly rewarding and the warmth and generosity of our hosts made our stay an enjoyable one. On behalf of Wesley College, we would like to say a warm thank you to the staff and students of Bedales School.
By Ben Walter and Sam Eidelson, Senior Theatre Prefects 2015