The cream of the Sundial Theatre Company’s acting crop have been up at the Edinburgh Festival this summer with their new play, ‘Animal Management’.
Based at Cirencester Sixth Form College, the student-led group have worked with writer director Duncan Walthew on a piece reviewed as ‘Big Brother meets Educating Yorkshire’. Exploring the idea of a reality TV show for schools, the play offers ‘an amplified view of what might happen if we continue with our damaging obsession with assessments, league tables and over-analysing exam results.’
The plot centres on an intense learning facility where lagging students board and are constantly filmed. They are given rewards for good test results and positive behaviour, as well as punishments for rule-breaks. And it’s no coincidence that the subject they’re failing in is Maths, since the motif of numbers underpins the play’s central concern – the worrying act of turning young people into walking statistics to be analysed numerically. On top of this, ‘ordinary’ school pupils vote for their favourite ‘competitors’ based on what they’ve seen in live streams. The six students in focus represent various character types – the geeky teacher’s pet, the wild child, the introvert and so on – and even the audience might find themselves aligning with a favourite.
After 10 performances at Edinburgh’s Sweet Novotel venue, the theatre company had won an audience each day through intense marketing including sitting on the Royal Mile with tape across their mouths. Audience feedback was extremely positive and the Scotsman described the show as ‘an involving yarn’ with an ‘engaging young cast who bring truth to their hormonally-charged characters.‘ And at the end of the run, the venue, Sweet Novotel told the actors that they were their favourite performers because of their professionalism at such a young age.
You can see ‘Animal Management’ for yourself in the home performance at the Sundial Theatre on Wednesday 12th September, 7.30pm, £8/£6. You can book your tickets online at www.sundial-theatre.co.ukor telephone the Box Office on 0333 666 3366.
If you are interested in performing arts courses or the Sundial Theatre Company at Cirencester College please contact the Student Journey Team at Cirencester on email firstname.lastname@example.org.