LOVE SPOTTING AT THE ATH
Over three nights, senior pupils at Warminster delivered a masterful production of Emma Rice’s adaptation of Tristan and Yseult. Director of Drama, Rosalind Johnson, empowered these young actors to reach their true potential and produce extraordinary performances of maturity and insight.
The pre-Arthurian legend of Tristan and Yseult tackles complex issues of love, sex and betrayal and this young cast took it on with courage and enthusiasm. The leading actors were all excellent – Alex Hunter was a confident and engaging bi-lingual Tristan. Switching seamlessly from French to English and maintaining the emotion is harder than he made it look. Megan Galpin was a beguiling Yseult, and Adam Wagstaff was thoroughly convincing as King Mark. He played the cuckolded king with dignity and authority.
Of particular note were the performances by Alice Greig as Brangian and Max Curnock as Frocin. The scene in which Brangian comes to understand the implications of what she has done in taking the place of Yseult in King Mark’s bed on their wedding night was compelling and deeply moving.
Max Curnock’s ability to engage and hold the audience was impressive, and Joe McQuilton’s passionate Mortholt, Yseult’s murdered brother, was powerfully played.
These strong performances were enhanced by innovative staging. The wonderful music – a thrilling mix of classic and modern composed by Harry Johnson, beautifully suspended the audience in the timelessness of this ancient story.
However, it was the chorus of ‘Love Spotters’ who were the stars of the show. Led by Lily Aldridge, as the narrator Whitehands, they owned the stage and maintained an energy and a commitment throughout, drawing the audience in to this compelling drama.
This was a truly remarkable achievement for our pupils, made all the more so by the fact that on the opening night, there were nine cast members off with Covid. You would never have known it, thanks to the determination of the cast and their director.
Review – Alex Holdaway, Freelance PR Director