Perse Middle School Drama Company in Chaos
7 Feb 2020
Seemingly random scenes were pulled together to great effect in the Perse Middle School Drama Company’s performances of the aptly-named play Chaos.
Inspired by the metaphorical idea that if a butterfly flaps its wings, it can cause a distant hurricane, the Laura Lomas work featured numerous dislocated scenes that had little connection, at least on the face of it.
Kathryn Salmond, who directed the play with fellow Perse drama graduate assistant Emily Gleeson, said: “Some of the characters re-occur, some of them don’t. It’s non-linear and there’s no real chronology to it, so it was up to the audience to decide which stories link and what they make of it.
“It mainly follows a lot of different teenagers and it’s about issues to do with friendship, family, love, loss, mental health, climate change, so there are a lot of contemporary themes.
“The first scene and the last scene are spoken by the same actress, so there’s a cyclical feel in that sense, but even in rehearsal, she felt it wasn’t really the case that one of these scenes happens before the other.”
Miss Gleeson suggested Chaos for the production having seen the play performed at the National Theatre Connections festival last year.
Miss Salmond said: “It’s always quite difficult picking a play for the Middle School Drama Company because it’s quite a big cast and you want something that’s going to appeal to them. Miss Gleeson gave it to me to read and it was brilliant. I thought it would be perfect for the group we had this year.
“We set it in a definite direction, but it was far more up to them to decide who their characters were and how to interpret the words on the page.
“We also knew the lighting and sound would be really important to get this show to the next level, so we had our technical team involved from quite early on in the process. They would actually be in the rehearsal room and we’d discuss with them what we’d need.
“We are pleased with how it went. The audiences seemed to like it and were really supportive.”