Nicholas Nickleby on stage
We have become accustomed to a feast of Senior Plays, usually two done by Scotch and one at St Catherine's with a Scotch male cast.
There is also the Middle School Play (Years 9 & 10) with Ruyton. This initial 7 & 8 play, mainly with Year 8s, was an enchanting adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel, Nicholas Nickleby.
This production was done in conjunction with Year 8 girls from PLC. The young actors achieved a dazzling recreation of Dickensian society. Their accents and body language showed the sure touch of director David Paul. The audience became engrossed in a story of greed and cruelty, tempered by family loyalties and a sense of decency. The main role in this battle fell to the hero, Nicholas, well played by John Crozier-Durham, as he fought the corruptions of his world. As always with Dickens' script, vice was wrapped in its own absurdity. There were fine comic performances, particularly from Fanny Squeers, played by Dimity Paul, and her Pa, the villainous Wackford Squeers, played by Anthony Kastelan. A star turn was the winsome performance of Sonja Hornung playing the abused young boy, Smike, and villainy was well-sustained by Chris Anderson as Nicholas' self-seeking uncle, Ralph Nickleby.
Costumes, devised (and in many instances created) by Veida Paul were finely detailed. The makeup was effective, as was the live music to link the scenes: cello and oboe played by Rebecca Proietto.
The cast members clearly enjoyed themselves as they moved confidently through their performances. They wowed the audience, which was packed out on each of the three nights.
Scotch is fortunate to have staff members, not only talented and experienced in theatrical production, but also generous of their personal time, to give young students the opportunity to stretch out to such exuberant and stylish activity.
Mrs Patricia Holdaway