In April Harris performed the epic monster play ‘Gargantua’ for National Theatre’s Connections, the largest theatre festival in the world. We chose ‘Gargantua’ because it offered some of the most exciting theatrical challenges; in terms of setting the various locations, the action sequences and of course presenting the monster who gives us the title of our play. ‘Gargantua’ is a play written by Carl Grose one of the most theatrical writers writing in the UK today and he is currently writing for the RSC and the National Theatre. He writes for Kneehigh who have produced some of the most powerful productions in the last 20 years.
I would like to thank the parents who supported our wonderful students in rehearsing for 68 hours over half-term and the Easter break; your support was invaluable. My team of Mrs. Farmer and Mrs. Davies and Miss Lembo believed that our company of young actors was a remarkable one and one of the best we have ever had the pleasure to work with.
The National Theatre wrote a report and this is what they said of our show:
'There was great discipline from the ensemble throughout with a fluid energy from scene to scene and strong driving pace. On the whole, the storytelling was full of clarity, probably the most clear I’ve seen this story told.'
The weekend of May bank holiday is one few of us will forget quickly. It was when our wonderful cast of Gargantua performed on the main stage at the Warwick Arts Centre. Harris Academy was the only school and youth theatre to be represented from Rugby in the National Theatre’s ‘National Connections’ festival. Having finished rehearsing on the Friday (a teacher training day) the cast assembled on Saturday morning in the rain at Warwick to unload the tardis-esque school minibus with the entirety of our set, costumes, props, and music equipment. We quickly unloaded it through the bay at stage door and got registered for the festival. It was brilliant to be able to watch 6 other productions over the two days. And we were lucky to have our own workshop with the renowned Highly Sprung physical theatre. Our performance on Saturday was magical with everyone sparkling on stage producing confident performances which our fabulous audience thoroughly enjoyed.