and Press Relations Officer
from Oundle School’s Fifth Form recently put on an amateur production of
Thornton Wilder’s Our Town which
played to enthusiastic audiences.
is a seminal American play
about everyday life in a small town in New Hampshire, set in the early 1900s.
town of Grover's Corners tells the story of an average town's citizens depicted
through their everyday lives. Scenes from the town's history between the years
of 1901 and 1913 are performed, with the Stage Manager as narrator.
and Drama teacher, Kathryn Francis commented, “In this particular performance I decided to cast
three separate Stage Managers in order to portray the different tones and
themes of each act. The play is
performed with minimal set and without props and relies on the miming skills of
the performer to draw the audience in. It
is essentially about the fact that humans are powerless to stem the advance of
time, while pondering whether they truly appreciate the precious nature of a
transient life. As Emily Gibbs, recently
deceased in childbirth, asks the Stage Manager, ’Do any human beings ever
realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?
The Fifth Form cast of
twenty-two, having only had a limited life experience so far, rose to the
challenge of a play which explores philosophical questions about life, marriage
and death all in one go. Standout performances were Hugo Beazley (16),
Francis Perumatantri (15) and Sarah Wells (15) as the three Stage
Managers. Susannah Gillespie (15) and Tom Younger (15) as Emily and
George successfully created a warm and infectious relation as the two young
lovers and Damson Young (15), Hetty Hodgson (15) and Lily Tyler (15)
produced three humorous and hugely apt housewives of Grover’s Corners.
Kathryn concluded, “I
was extremely impressed by their mature and adult approach to the text and
their willingness to work hard to improve and deepen their character
understanding. The play was staged in
four weeks and impressed its audience each night. Even a member of the audience who came from
New Hampshire was complimentary about the accurate use of the accent! It was a pleasure to work with such a
talented and committed cast and crew. “
Our Town is also a GCSE set
text for next years’ Fifth Form.
Background Information on Oundle School
School is situated in the quintessentially English Market town from which it
takes its name. The School's buildings, dating from the seventeenth to the
twenty-first century, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large
extent, its campus.
School's history goes back to 1556 when Sir William Laxton, Master of the
Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded
the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876,
the Grocers' Company decided to divide the School into two parts: Laxton
Grammar School, mainly for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School,
mainly for pupils from further afield. However, to mark the new millennium, the
Governing Body decided to reunite the two schools under the common name of
Oundle School, with Laxton as a House for day-pupils.
School is now able to offer a range of educational possibilities to meet
contemporary needs: co-educational day or boarding education, with Laxton
Junior as a 4-11 day school, and Oundle School as a boarding and day school,
with entry at 11, 13 or into the Sixth Form.