Gorley Putt’s life dramatised on The Perse stage
18 Jan 2019
Perse students have written and staged their own play, The Floating Palace, inspired by a real-life Cambridge character.
The life and times of the late Samuel Gorley Putt OBE, who was a Fellow of Christ’s College until his death in 1995, provided the idea for the script by Benjamin De Almeida-Newton (Upper Sixth).
Blythe White (Upper Sixth) then took the directional reins, assembling a cast of students from across the school’s year groups before staging the play in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre’s Gallery Studio.
Benjamin said he had felt moved to pen The Floating Palace after hearing fascinating tales about Gorley Putt’s life.
He said: “The play follows his life from his naval career to teaching English at Cambridge and it’s all about how he got to where he was and what shaped him as a man.
“I was inspired to write this from a story my mother told me about Samuel Gorley Putt, who was a friend of hers. He was a very eccentric character and she just retold me all these stories, so I wanted to write a play dramatising his life.
“I left the direction of the play to Blythe White and he has really brought it to life very creatively. It’s great to see your work come to life. Seeing fellow students put their feeling and character into it is indescribable.”
For Blythe, a keen actor, it was his first time directing a play and he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
He said: “It was very nerve-racking but at the same time really exciting. I had some meetings with Benjamin at the start of the whole process just to get an idea of the vision he was trying to portray and convey, so I had to think about how I could bring the play to life and try to execute his vision.
“It was great fun and the cast was wonderful. They were really co-operative with the whole process and that made it really enjoyable.”
Listen to Blythe talk more about what he gained from the experience of directing The Floating Palace and how the show went below.