Strangefaces show up at school

Claremont School pupils making masks
Claremont School pupils making masks

STUDENTS at Claremont School have been busy making masks for their upcoming open air production.

Russell Dean, artistic director of the Strangeface Theatre Company, returned to Claremont to assist and tutor the Drama GCSE candidates and cast of the forthcoming production of The Canterbury Tales, being staged at Bodiam Castle in July.

Throughout the morning, Mr Dean and Julia Woodwright, head of art at Claremont School, imparted their professional knowledge, and students primed, painted and added finishing touches to the individual ‘character’ masks they designed and cast back in February.

The day culminated with an intense yet creative practical workshop, where students got to grips with the complexities and challenges of performing with their faces and eyes partially covered.

Mr Dean said: “Wearing a mask means that performers have to communicate through physical and vocal means, gestures need to be defined and clear.

“The drama students at Claremont are now fully aware of the need to ‘express’ themselves when performing.”

Arabella Ansar-Carver, the school’s head of drama, added: “The Year 9 students have learned invaluable performance skills ready for their ‘open-air’ production of The Canterbury Tales at Bodiam Castle in July, and ahead of their GCSE Drama course next year. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Russell and the Strangeface Theatre Company.”