Unfortunately when it comes to the ‘School Play’ only a limited number of pupils can take part, so when it came to arranging a public performance to play to peers and parents, I always tried to make sure that every student had an equal part to play in the programme.

In one particular year I was fortunate enough to have a group of students who enjoyed singing, dancing and playing instruments as well as their Speech & Drama lessons.   So we devised a programme to incorporate all these elements.

We began with an Irish Jig, using dancers and musicians, followed by a selection of Irish proverbs.

Extracts from plays by Irish playwrights were interspersed by poems and prose by Irish writers.   The plays included The School for Scandal by R.B.Sheridan, Pygmalion by G.B.Shaw, The Playboy of the Western World by J.M.Synge, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel.   There are so many poems to choose from and we made sure that the selection suited the voice of the student.

We were fortunate in having some lighting on the acting area, but the staging was simple using limited furniture and props, and all students were on stage throughout, simply moving into place for their contribution.   All those taking part were given equal opportunity to show their acting and speaking skills, and I was delighted by their enthusiasm.

I suppose this could be described these days as an inclusive, non devisive, extended recital.

Penelope Lambert

May Article – Irish Patchwork, A Miscellany of Words, Music and Dance by Penny Lambert