The Perse School

Perse pupils’ performance of Bassett proves a hit

Year 11 pupils have staged two performances of the play Bassett after an intense schedule of rehearsals.

The 14-strong cast, featuring Aaryan Ambegaonkar, Tisa Manandhar, Scott Simmonds, Lewis Black, Jonathan Black, Ruben Giuliani, Riley Traub, Odette Abbasi, Gabrielle Gadsby, Trinny Duncan, Amelia Edwards, Lauren Shlomovich, Sophie Edwards and Lizzie Freestone, only began work on the play in the second week of term before taking to the stage in the Loft this week.

Drama teacher George Smith, who directed Bassett with drama graduate assistant Florence Brady, was delighted with how the pupils had brought it all together.

He said: “It went really well. They worked so hard on the show and put so much time and effort into it over the last few weeks.

“It really looked as if they were enjoying themselves and engaging with the piece and we’re really proud of them and what they’ve achieved.

“They’ve had three weeks of working lunchtimes and after school and then we had one big Sunday rehearsal before the production week, so it’s been quite an intense schedule, and they’ve had a really positive attitude, which has been fantastic.”

The James Graham play is set at Wootton Bassett School in the Wiltshire market town that became well known for the repatriations of fallen British soldiers in its high street.

Bassett revolves around a group of pupils who have been locked in a classroom by their supply teacher, while one such repatriation is taking place

Mr Smith said: “It’s quite an emotional play that deals with a lot of issues in a short space of time – race, identity, sexuality – and this idea of what it means to a British citizen and our opinions of war.

“To pack all that into 45 minutes, it’s a bit of a journey for the audience and we had some really nice comments from people who came to watch. It’s good that it chimed with a range of different audience members.”

 
 
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