TUSK. TUSK. Truly Touching Performances
This year’s Sixth Form Play saw the Deayton Theatre transformed into the run-down house of three siblings, Eliot, Maggie and Finn, all trying to navigate a world in which they’ve been left alone. Tusk Tusk, written by Polly Stenham and directed by Lilly W and Millie Y in Lower Sixth Form, was both a heartwarming and tragic portrayal of what happens when children are left to fend for themselves, trying to make the best out of an awful situation. Max K, Scarlett C and Zandi A took on the roles of the siblings and simultaneously made the audience laugh whilst breaking their hearts. Their touching and wholly believable performances as three children trying to survive, truly struck a nerve.
Adding to the children’s chaotic existence was Cassie, played by Zoë T, Eliot’s love interest and attempted voice of reason; a cantankerous woman from upstairs, played by Alice K, and a pair of family friends, Katie & Roland, played by Emily B and Tristan E, whose marriage fell apart before our eyes in the final scene. The supporting cast were fantastic at fleshing out the story and bringing the world that the siblings inhabited to life.
A huge congratulations must go to the cast for their work on this challenging and thought-provoking production, but an even bigger pat-on-the-back has to go to their directors, Lilly & Millie. Taking on the direction of the Sixth Form Play is no mean feat. Not only did they have to manage and direct their close friends and peers (not an easy task when descending into giggles is a regular occurrence!) but they also had to deal with clashing timetables, lack of rehearsal space and a text that revealed some exceptionally challenging staging moments. How would you stage a seven-year-old swinging and falling from a chandelier?! I have been so impressed with their perseverance, dedication, and enthusiastic approach to this highly ambitious text. Despite moments of fear (“They still haven’t learnt their lines!”) and debates around certain logistics (“Are you sure we can’t do more blood?”) they absolutely pulled it out of the bag. Well done!