It has been a long time coming, and while our drama boys have thrown themselves into a world of workshops, speakers and drama-related activity on Zoom, they really have been aching to get back on the stage for some real-life interaction.

It was therefore wonderful to welcome actor Scott Smith from the Splendid Theatre Company into school for a practitioner workshop covering the works of Bertolt Brecht: the German theatre practitioner and playwright. The ‘Brechtian’ style is particularly interesting, and a great one for students to use as it is so political and addresses contemporary issues. Brecht believed classical approaches to theatre were escapist, and he was more interested in facts and reality rather than escapism. This approach specifically helped the boys with a piece they are devising on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

The workshop, which was energetic and interactive, challenged boys to explore and develop the theory for themselves, encouraging them to adopt some of Brecht’s techniques into their own work. 

Mrs Antoinette Keylock, Head of Academic Drama, told us, “The workshop really helped the boys understand the theories of Brecht, but putting his ideas into practice, e.g. chorus narration, use of placards and theatre ‘montage’. Scott Smith from Splendid theatre company is a Brechtian actor and he watched the piece and helped to shape it and make it more ‘Brechtian’. The boys were really inspired!”

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