Verily, a New Hope Performance

One of our main aims in the Drama Department is to encourage girls to stage their own independent productions. However, when Louise Dai and Holly Wilcox Routledge first suggested the idea of staging the story of Star Wars retold in Shakespearian English, I will admit that I was a little sceptical that there would be sufficient interest in the epic tale of Jedi Knights.

As the production got underway however, under the aegis of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Society, the fruits of Louise and Holly’s labours soon paid off and on Wednesday 8th February they staged a sensational production of Verily, a New Hope.

The fifteen members of the cast, accompanied by the singers of Hellacappella, gave a packed theatre a night to remember. There were many highlights, not least the appearance of the home made Death Star, which rose threateningly behind the set with a girdle of flashing green lights. Otherwise the set was simple, allowing the actors to move swiftly from scene to scene, with a raised bridge that served as a platform for Darth Valdes to make threatening appearances, red lightsaber in hand.

Isabella Green played this iconic role with great poise and, in her long black cape and mask, was suitably evil looking. Joycelyne Sun, as Roma, stole many of the scenes, speaking through a kazoo with considerable expression and making a very successful partner with Ulla Smimova, who played Lance Starkiller with considerable dash. This was a production where every member of the cast contributed their own quirky interpretation of their roles to considerable effect. Tasha Dezelsky was a very striking Hal Ranger and Casey Chong as the imprisoned Princess Lerna showed her CLC mettle in her determination to escape and defeat the enemy. Lorna Rolinson was suitably mysterious and magisterial in her role as Oio Kwok.

The technical aspects of the show were completely the work of the eight girls on the crew. Freya Thompson oversaw their efforts with considerable professionalism, and it was striking how both lighting and sound effects helped to create the atmosphere needed for the piece, leading up to the climactic scene with a battle between spacecrafts taking place all around the auditorium.

Cast, crew and directors deserve congratulations on their magnificent achievement in staging this production and for giving us all such an enjoyable evening of entertainment.

Mr Smith, Director of Drama