GCSE Drama pupils at King Edward’s Witley were thrilled when British playwright Simon Stephens, Olivier and Tony Award Best Play winner for ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’, visited the School to direct rehearsals of his play ‘Punk Rock’. Currently being studied by the pupils for their forthcoming exam, Punk Rock was nominated Best New Play at the Evening Standard and TMA Awards in 2010.
This exciting visit came to fruition as a result of Mr Steve Gardner, Head of Lower School, seizing an opportunity during a chance meeting to ask the eminent playwright if he might consider sharing his considerable knowledge and expertise with a group of 5th Year GCSE Drama students actively engaged with one of his many works. Mr Stephens readily agreed and commenting on his visit to the School, said:
“I had a remarkable afternoon working at King Edwards Witley. It means the world to me that my plays are studied there and studied with such clarity and care and imagination. The pupils I worked with were defined by their energy and intelligence, their talent and their commitment. I left King Edwards massively inspired by the staff, the pupils and the energy and drive of the beautiful school.”
Steve Gardner, Head of Lower School said: “We were absolutely delighted that after a fortuitous meeting on the balcony of the Lyric Hammersmith, Simon agreed to come and run a rehearsal with us on ‘Punk Rock’. Not only was he absolutely passionate about the pupils’ creativity with the text but also gave them reams of inside knowledge on the creation of his play. We were left pinching ourselves that a twice Olivier Award winner was willing to give up his spare time to work with us. Simon is responsible for inspiring so many young people who have a taste for theatre – we really look forward to his next visit!”
‘Punk Rock’ will be performed by King Edward’s Witley pupils as part of their GCSE Drama exam this year.