Year 11s visit the National Theatre

On 16th March seventeen year 11 Drama students enjoyed a trip to the National Theatre.  For many it was the first time they had been to a professional theatre and they found it, as Anthony remarked ‘an experience .. a positive experience to see a thing performed live’.

They went to see Dara, an epic tale that explored the conflict between two princes battling for control of Mughal India.  The dispute between the two brothers was central to the shaping of modern day India and Pakistan.  Adapted from a play by the Pakistani dramatist Shahid Nadeem the story explores Dara’s battle against religious intolerance and the shaping of Islam in 17th century India.

The play was no dry polemic, however, with Melissa praising the dancing and music interspersed between the scenes as the sliding screens re-shaped the stage; she also praised the lighting as it changed the mood for each scene.  Ashriah was excited by the stream flowing down the centre of the stage which was transformed into a river of fire.  The quality of the acting particularly enthused the group; Abhishek noted that the acting was ‘very good’ and that the actors were ‘right inside the culture’, with  Zubin Varla in the lead ‘superb’.  A number of students, and Mr Rahmen, commented that they had learnt things about their religion’s history that they had been unaware of, others made connections to present events and religious attitudes.  Drilon found it ‘a very thoughtful play with a great moral.  You had read behind the lines; I like that’.  All came away with much to fill the 2000 words of their review.

Walking to and from the Theatre from the station the students were all entranced by the beauty of the city and river at night, picking out familiar landmarks and their glittering reflections.  I was immensely proud of their calm and sensible conduct throughout the evening which contributed to a very happy evening.

The final words are from Shania: ‘Brilliant.  Amazing.  I want to do it again.’