Clubs and Societies are back in abundance, with subjects ranging from Architecture to Zoology, and everything in between.

The English Society is just one of the many on offer and the first meeting of the new academic year did not disappoint as boys turned their classroom into a mock courtroom for the trial of Stanley Kowalski from Tennesse Williams’ play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The format was born out of an idea from Upper Sixth Former and president of the English Society, Ethan Whitlock, who was inspired having attended many mock trials at Debating Society.

Ethan galvanised his peers and invited boys to be jurymen in the trial where defence (Ben Beckmann) and prosecution (Ethan) presented their arguments and cross-examined the main characters from the controversial play, played by Johnny Cummins and Deimis Sukys. It was then up to the jurors to decide whether Mr Kowalski could truly be held responsible for his despicable crime. Of course, reading the play, it is obvious that the crime took place, but what the audience see, the jury cannot. So, while readers know he is guilty, in reality, a court of law might struggle to find him so if there was a shrewd defence lawyer.

The play has been taught in school for many years, and always treated with sensitivity. It is essential reading to help boys realise that in the real world, sometimes there are no clear-cut certainties in crime.

Ethan explained, “I thought doing something a bit different would help attract more boys along to the first session. I was pleased with the turnout and thought the courtroom scenario proved a great way to scrutinise the characters in the play. It was such a controversial topic to discuss, and I think we all dealt with it maturely.”

Next week’s topic is quite different; the boys have invited Mrs Quirighetti along to the society, who will speak about publishing and share her experience from when she worked for Penguin.

The English Society is open to all boys and is held Wednesday lunchtimes at 1.00pm to 1.45pm.

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