It’s only a quarter of an hour before curtain up, but the concert hall’s sparsely populated when I arrive with my train of boys from Cowdray House. In the foyer there are some simple posters advertising “The Winslow Boy” and some basic programmes printed on A4 sheets. A trickle of parents and other audience members wander in, including a smattering of boarders from Uppers. ‘Better than prep.’ Some classical style music is playing. Solemn. Barber’s “Adagio” according to the programme.
There are cast members milling about in costume, made-up roughly, beards and moustaches painted on, young kids trying to look grown up. Girls dressed as men. ‘Hello, sir.’
Shouldn’t they be backstage?…
‘There are one or two characters,’ I say to mum down the phone. ‘Every school’s got its fair share. I’m learning.’
‘And how are you getting on with Drama?’ asks mum. ‘Are you going to put something on?’
Despite my assertion at interview that teaching Drama would be easy peasy, the reality is rather different. For a start, there are no books to hand out.
‘There are single copies of Coward and Beckett in the store cupboard,’ says The Wife of Parse. ‘Or there’s always Shakespeare.’…