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Canterbury Tales

Published on 06/12/17

Drama teacher Georgina Wood recounts her experience working with students on 'The Canterbury Tales' this autumn term.

A small group of Year 11 and Sixth Form students recently took part in my Autumn Term production of ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Looking back, it was enormous fun working on the project. I was very lucky to have an incredibly talented cast who threw themselves into the challenge of Chaucer with real enthusiasm. We approached the piece by retaining the traditional language, whilst adding a nod to some elements of modern culture. Having a cast of 14 meant that everyone took on various roles and had the opportunity to really stretch and challenge themselves as performers.

We wanted to portray the various stories in different ways and I could not have done this without the help of my fantastic Enrichment Backstage group. They collaborated with their many talents to create various types of puppets and different pieces of set, including a fantastic wooden tavern sign that Sasha B and Fenella L spent many hours on, using the laser cutter in the Design Engineering department. We also incorporated a creative animation demonstrating part of Chaucer’s journey through Google Maps which was cleverly developed by Rosie C and Molly V. Many of the cast members also took part in this Enrichment group and therefore had the opportunity to experience the production within a variety of roles.

The play was also an opportunity to call upon the songwriting talents of two of our Upper 6th Form students, Niah D and Olivia P, who wrote two original songs for the play. We then made use of the various musical abilities of our cast to perform these: special thanks must be given to Maddy A, Sasha B, Michelle B, Rose F and Vivian L who both assisted with writing the lyrics and performed these songs.

And finally, special thanks must be given to our Backstage Crew: Klaara K, Liora M, Rebecca S, Max L and Hannah L. For many of them, it was their first time working backstage for a Stephen Perse Foundation production and they rose to the challenge of this busy script remarkably well.

It has been a real pleasure to work with all of the students who worked on this production. I was delighted with how the production turned out and everyone involved should be very proud of their contributions.