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Canberra Today 19°/22° | Monday, December 6, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Radford drama students perform Stoppard farce

The two critics. Photo: Alan Lee.

AS Canberra schools and colleges swing back into gear, their drama departments are ahead of the pack, with several exciting post-lockdown initiatives.

First cab off the rank is Radford College which, from today, October 27, until October 30, is presenting an online performance of Tom Stoppard’s hilarious play, “The Real Inspector Hound”.

We were alerted to the venture by student Lachlan Herring who gets to play Moon, one of the two silly theatre critics satirised in the play. The other, Birdboot, is played by Oliver Johnston.

I must confess to having once played, ingloriously, the role of Moon in a fundraiser for Canberra’s Elbow Theatre and can attest to the play’s popularity with drama aficionados because in it, the critics become embroiled in the onstage action.

According to Nick Akhurst, head of “Co-curricular Drama Dance Oratory” at Radford College the staging of the production has been a challenge for all involved.

The onstage murder-mystery, critics upstage. Photo: Alan Lee.

“The cast diligently rehearsed online using Microsoft team, which as good a program as it is, it is not substitute for a rehearsal room,” he explains, adding that the director, head of English Jason Golding, worked tirelessly with his assistant director Emily Ridge and the technical support of Akhurst himself to make sure the show, the final co-curricular production, made it to stage before Year 12 graduated.

The 10 students who worked on the technical elements of the show did so as part of their formal studies, but were forced to scale back some of their ideas to fit into a reduced timeframe and a smaller production team, a good lesson in practical theatre, Akhurst thinks.

Alas, because of restrictions, they’re only able to stream the performance with the help of the school media crew led by Tim Minehan.

Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Inspector Hound”, viewable online from 7pm, October 27-30. Tickets $15 here 

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Helen Musa

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