Student Report by Malaika C.

This Tuesday Year 11 Drama GCSE students were given the opportunity to professionally clown around as part of a workshop led by the incredibly talented Amy Milburn, associate director for the renowned and frankly hysterical “Play That Goes Wrong”. It was the most perfect way to spend the afternoon after our first GCSE mock exam, in a session integrating both facts and technical teaching as well as an exciting opportunity to be coached in clownery.

For a large section of our GCSE written paper, we are asked to write about how we would perform in/direct a play that we have gone to see ourselves, for which Mr Herriman chose to take us to the utterly ridiculous and totally clever “the Play That Goes Wrong”.

Amy, as the play’s associate director, was the perfect person to not only run us through the show’s ‘actors’ and their respective ‘characters’ (there is a play within a play and, as you can assume, it all gets rather confusing as more and more catastrophes occur), but also enlighten us on the difference between ‘auguste’ clowns and ‘naïve’ clowns, about which we may comment technically in our written work.

The unequivocal highlight of the workshop, however, was playing absurd games to practice our own clowning talents (unsurprisingly, as drama enthusiasts, we all eagerly took the opportunity to act as silly as possible). It turns out clowns have an unanticipatedly difficult job, as they are not allowed to purposefully make the audience laugh and must not laugh themselves.

Finally, we were directed by Amy herself in our own interpretations of a scene from the play. This not only earned us deeper insight into the complexity of the show’s comedy and the characters’ motivations but was deeply amusing. I particularly enjoyed continuing to carry on a scene interrogating an unconscious Millie and writing notes with keys on a vase.

Many thanks must go to Mr Herriman and Amy Milburn for organising and leading such an hilarious, engaging session.