Performing and Production Arts learners from Lewisham College staged the theatre production, The Filthy Rakes, a comedy based on the Restoration period of 17th century England, where they showcased their talent and skills on a promenade performance piece. The play, attended by the College's community, the learners' family and friends and GCSE Drama learners from a local school, was centred on King Charles II, who made it possible for women to act in theatre at the time. The soundtrack chosen included popular songs from the 1980s and was complemented by dance choreographies from the era.
To get this project off the ground, Performing and Production Arts learners researched and compared the 1680s and 1980s from a social, political and contextual perspective to stage, design and manage the production and develop different roles which reflected both historical periods.
During the performance, the learners displayed their talent and acting skills and showcased their technical production, design and stage management skills. They transformed the College's theatre set into the backdrop for the play and created props based on their research on the Restoration period.
Unlike other theatre productions, the audience had an active role in the play. They participated in an immersive promenade and an 'end on' theatre style designed to break the fourth wall that traditionally separates the performer from the audience.
Magdalena Kowal, a Production Arts learner, said: "My role in the production was as deputy stage manager, which was a brilliant experience for me as I was able to put my production skills and training into a performance with the responsibility of making sure that the lighting was exact and the actors were well-rehearsed to deliver an entertaining performance for our audience successfully."
Paigan Skinner, a Performing Arts learner, said: "I'm pleased to have participated in The Filthy Rakes performance. As part of the project, I had the opportunity to develop my character based on research on famous actors who had played the role. This research allowed me to add my style to the character and add it to my acting range which will help me play other male characters."
Jayne Morgan, Vice Principal at Lewisham College, said: "We were delighted to see our talented learners on the stage and behind the scenes in this exciting theatre production; it has been a highlight of their hard work and dedication.
"At Lewisham College, we are committed to supporting our learners in preparation for their next steps after college, allowing them to put their knowledge and skills to the test. We were pleased to witness our learners' stage management and performance skills on a live show and look forward to seeing them perform again and becoming well-rounded and skilled creative professionals."
Lewisham College offers Creative Arts, Performing and Production Arts courses. To find out more, visit lewisham.ac.uk/creative-arts