St Benedict's School students crossed cultural boundaries with their latest theatrical production, a gripping dramatisation of 'Bodas de Sangre' (‘Blood Wedding’), the classic work by revered Spanish playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca. The production was produced and directed by Modern Languages teacher Mrs Isabelle Payne and staged by the Modern Foreign Languages department. It had a cast of nearly thirty students aged 8 to 17 years old and has set a school precedent, as the entire work was performed - as it was written - in Spanish.
Audiences were treated to a magical guitar performance of 'Concierto de Aranjuez' by Stelios Souvaliotis and Joshua Leonard, cajon drumming by Alex Holmes, Tom Mythen and Akeem Eubank-Anderson, and several Spanish songs including a wonderful rendition of the Nana lullaby by Jack and Liam Carty-Howe and Rosalind Sheehan. They also enjoyed being transported down to the southern region of Andalucia by the School's flamenco dancers and castanet group. The play was a vivid reflection of the school's commitment to promote the teaching and learning of modern languages.
Alexandra Mitchell-Bruguera, Adrian Piga, Carlos Gomez Rose and Alessandra Messa stepped into the lead roles and, despite first appearances on stage, gave powerful interpretations. In main support roles were Olivia Davies, Martina Scarsella, Monira Oliveira Khalil, Ben Farmer and Sophia Fitzmaurice. “The camaraderie that we developed as a team working on this project was amazing”, Monira commented. “It was like being part of a big family! We all needed to pull together to learn complicated flamenco dances, Spanish songs and lines, and some complex choreography for fight scenes, but it was great fun.”
The entire cast were extremely grateful for the support of a talented flamenco guitarist, Mr Ramon Ruiz, who coincidentally is from Lorca's home town near Granada.
“It has been my great privilege to work with such a talented and hard-working cast and crew, to pass on my love of Spanish literature, language and culture and to stimulate a growing interest among our students - young and old alike - in learning about other cultures and languages,” said Mrs Payne.