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On Tuesday 22nd October, Year 11 was treated to a solo performance based on the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

The entire Hall was dark and everybody filed in, excitedly speculating on what they thought the next hour was going to be like. No one knew what to expect as few had watched a one man performance before! After much mystery and silent preparation, it began with an explosive introduction. Dave brought the novel to life by giving each character a unique voice, his impressions were also very impressive! His acting included voices both male and female, young and old and utterly covered the emotional spectrum. His performance captured the attention of everyone in the room, despite many being uncertain in the beginning.

When it was the time for the interval, many were clearly shocked by how much they were enjoying it and they wanted to find out what was going to happen next.  I took this time to ask people what they thought so far,

“It’s very clever, but at first it was a little strange!” said one audience member,

“I wasn’t sure when it started, but I got into the story after a while. I

thought it was incredible.” agreed another.

It was clear everybody was enjoying it and eagerly anticipating the second half. Soon the room deepened to darkness once more and we begun the second half of the story…

It ended with a dramatic flourish, leaving everyone stunned before breaking into rapturous applause. He bowed modestly, before leaving the stage looking more than a little relived at our reaction and a little tired after performing such an emotional story.  I asked one person whether they would be interested in watching another play and they immediately said yes and hoped there would be a chance as this one had been such a success.

Everyone had a good time and many of the students said afterward they were interested in reading the novel after watching him perform. Personally, I  was awed by how his interpretation of the characters changed my perspective of how I had originally thought of them. I for one think he really showed the emotional development of Miss Havisham.

Report by Lysette Turner

 

Student reaction was very positive , here are some of the comments:

“It was really good. I enjoyed when he was miming because
it was really funny.”– Matt Howells

“It was educational but you didn’t know it because he was
really funny and he kept you interested in the story the whole way
through. I understand the story very well because of the way he did
it.”– Ben Thompson

” He had good facial expressions and it was good because I
do Drama and it was helpful for me to see an actor perform.”– Ben Clark

” I enjoyed the workshop after the performance. The
activity where we had to make an equilateral triangle between someone
we wanted to be close to and someone we wanted to avoid, without them
knowing, made us think about how actors use space.”– Jordan Tremethick

On approaching the performance I had two views on how I expected it to be. First, I knew that the actor, David Mynne, a co-founder of the spectacular ‘Kneehigh’ was behind this one-man performance. Automatically I knew this would be something far from the common ordinariness of some stage shows. However, my second view, and one I knew my peers shared, was how can one man, not two but one, perform a story of around five hundred pages and play twenty seven characters, all in just over sixty minutes? So I approached the performance with an optimistic yet curious attitude.

 

For the next sixty minutes my latter pre-conception was forgotten as quickly as it had arrived. Mynne wove the story like that of a true story teller. With no excess of stage equipment- a mere chair, suitcase and a table, he told Charles Dickens’s tale as such a tale should be told- with imagination, innovative concepts and pleasure. It was reminiscent of a parent telling their child a bedtime story, only on a scale of one parent for every one- hundred and fifty children. He made a potentially difficult tale easy to hear- his array of sound effects would far outrun anything GarageBand produces- and with it, captured the attention of everyone in his field of view.

Report by Johannes Black