The Taming of the Shrew

 A performance

the-taming-of-the-shrew 8065the-taming-of-the-shrew 8092  On Tuesday evening, June 25, the quatrième International students performed The

 Taming of the Shrew, a 

Shakespearian play they started reading at the beginning of the year.

   Under the joint leadership of Mrs. Chicaud and Mr. Francis, students did their best to perform this play in front of a captivated audience. What a success for this year of hard work !
And such investment on the part of Ms. Chicaud and Mr Francis ! Congratulations to the students who have been really impressive.
They won't forget their first Shakesperian experience !the-taming-of-the-shrew 8108

the-taming-of-the-shrew 8100         the-taming-of-the-shrew 8091









Top Girls : a successful performance

Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2 , the theatre group from the British Section gave two performances of the play Top Girls , by Caryl Churchill at the MJC La




With their talent, the energy of their age, all their pleasure also to act, they gave their best during the performance. And it was beautiful !


Above all , we must praise the work of these young actresses and their teacher, Ms. Blasco whose dedication and attention have been matched by the fatigue that prevented her from attending the last repetitions. We must praise the talent of William Blasco which then came to the rescue at short notice to carry out the project and has remarkably accom

plished this task .

For me, who attended, on the Friday morning , the final preparations , I can say that I experienced a moment of emotion at 14h, when the curtain rose : there was no time for a rehearsal , not even for an Italian , and actresses had not acted with their costumes.


   They only had time for a quick warm-up on stage, final recommendations from William and ... lights !


 However, Top Girls is not an easy play. The cause of women is presented, with subtelties through very different characters. The action takes place in the 1980s . In the first act, Marlene (Louise Parsons, outstanding actress) ambitious young woman who has just received a promotion invites around her women of past centuries, with incredible, disrupted or even tragic destiny : Isabella (Constance Armengaud remarkable presence on stage), Lady Nijo , a concubine of the Japanese Emperor (Constance Benmessaoud -Levy , very graceful), Dull Gret, the Scandinavian warrior (Nicole Green, funny and fierce), Pope Joan who was eventually stoned (Caroline Le Queau, calm and radiant, who even learnt a whole speech in Latin !), Patient Griselda (to whom Pauline The Gal lends her delicate features). While the waitress (Marie Scotto , quiet and efficient) deals with them, each of them will tell the story of her life, as she lived it in her own time in their different patriarchal societies.



Then begins a typical day in the recruitment agency and placement work where Marlene, Win (Marie Breton, very comfortable in her role), and Nell (Agathe Pervier, who managed to compose a sharper character than Marlene) . During the interviews, they meet women seeking employment, which will help show other situations of women facing difficult choices in the late twentieth century. So comes Jeanine who would like to preserve her family life (Delphine Dubert , who can play the pathos of his character), Louise too old to have ambitions (Coline Bedel, perfect in her seriousness and shy disappointment), Mrs. Kidd, a housewife Marlene does not even listen to (Emilie Tremoureux, amazing), and young Shona (Lefa Mondon , who managed to play a role in her role and goes from anguished dejection to the most daring fantasy). 



But during the day, arrived Angie (Robyn Roper -Campbell, who plays with natural authenticity), Marlene 's niece, who fled the family home and the narrow life of deep England. She passionately admires her aunt. She also left behind her the young Kit (Sarah Martinache, touching in this child role).


The last act is actually a flashback, a year earlier, when Marlene visited her family. The structure of the play is very clever. The remaining action is not centered around the Marlene's success, but her confrontation with her sister, Joyce, who is bringing up Angie alone. Joyce is played by Charlotte Slater who can give life to this courageous woman who stayed behind, stuck between housework and domestic responsablities thanks to her remarkable voice. Marlene shows a hidden fragile part of her personality and the conflicts that her success implies;  " not clever , just pushy ," she says herself. The last word is Angie's, representing the next generation, who admits she's scared.

What an intricate and beautiful play !

The set was simple, minimized to allow to locate the action to take place without degrading it. The costumes were well chosen. The assistance of Ms. cottage was , as always, invaluable.

The young
 company has gone to La Fleche for two more public performances in the city's beautiful theatre.

 photos wertaken during the performance, because of the absence of a dress rehearsal ; please forgive us for their questionable quality ! N.R






A rehearsal : Top Girls


 On Wednesday, January 9th  , the students of the British Section were rehearsing Caryl Churchill's Top Girls , at the MJC (La Baule) on the very stage on which they will perform to the public on the 1st and 2nd of February.

    The group is only made of girls . These young actresses follow the group of actors who performed brilliantly, late December, The History Boys under the direction of William Blasco.

    Top Girls is part of the program and of the contemporary repertoire. The author was born in 1938, it committed through this play a reflection on women's empowerment . The main character, Marlene, is destined for a great career in the Top Girls agency. She comes from the countryside of England, full of traditions, where her sister and niece still live . In London, she tries to build her present and her future, surrounded by women who are all female destinies, resigned or struggling.
    Good atmosphere for this long afternoon. Many students rehearse on the stage, with their costumes, under the watchful guidance of Ms. Blasco . Other revise their lines, sing (in English) in the lobby of the MJC, accompanying themselves with the piano.


    Some have already acted last year in the play Our Country 's Good . Why did you continue the adventure of theater this year ? "It's great, everyone can thrive in a collective enterprise.", "Acting allows a better understanding of the play. ", "This is an interesting and fun experience. " What does Mary, who has joined the cast this year, think ? "I did theater for 8 years, out of school , and when I saw the work done last year for Our Country 's Good , I wanted to be a part of it. "



What does this play bring to young girls in 2013 ? The action takes place in the 80s . Are these feminist struggles relevant ? -" Yes, perhaps , but not in the same ways. " Our young actresses feel that the status of women has changed ! Some situations are a little too far for them to reach (maybe because they are younger than their characters ) . Delphine said she " had to make an effort to get into the role of Jeanine, a young secretary looking for a job. " Choosing between a family life and the constraints of a job : is it a dilemma for women today ? The young company hesitates : 

... Coline notes that " in their time, these women were avant-garde. "


    Marie rightly concludes by saying that her character has confidence in herself, while she is not as asserted.

 Beyond Feminism , isn't building self-confidence the most important ?



    Top Girls , a play to see and ponder on !









Rehearsals : History Boys

Wednesday, December 12th : Last afternoon of rehearsal for the theater group of students of the British Section who will perform, next week, Alan 


Bennett's play, The History Boys . The group is made of eight actors, seven boys and a girl, led by William Blasco , counseled and encouraged by other students and Sarah , assistant in English, all together and warmed by their enthusiasm in the Maison des Lycéens.

 The play is part of the contemporary repertoire . It was created in 2004 and its author , novelist , playwright , actor, screenwriter and director, was born in 1934. It has known a great success , won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2005 and Tony Awarde in 2006. It resulted in a film in which the actors of the play acted. This piece is part of the program for high school seniors this year.The action takes place in 1980 in a school where students are preparing to enter Oxford or Cambridge. Hector is a professor of literature with little academic methods which advocates a lively approach to culture . He is popular with students, but the familiar behavior he demonstrates causes his dismissal. The Director concerned of the students' results, then recruits Irwin to train students for the competition that awaits them. He bases his method on the awakening of the critical eye.

The play stimulates reflection on teaching , pedagogy , issues around the three characters , Hector, Irwin and the Director, but also through the reactions and reflections of students. We can easily understand that it has challenged our young actors. They expressed surprise at the first reading and their pleasure to work on a text which is contemporary by its language and the questions it raises . They appreciated the funny moments in a show with a serious background. Did they have trouble to slip into the shoes of the characters ? Not really. Most of them have the same age as the character they embody and the academic world that is shown is not completely foreign to them .

16The atmosphere in the rehearsal room and the interest for the theater and for this play encouraged other students to join the group . All agree that the preparation of this performance brings them a better understanding of this part of the curriculum, especially with a text so full of literary and artistic allusions that enlarges their general knowledge.


On stage, that is to say in the lower part of the Maison des Lycéens , William Blasco firmly and tactfully directs the progresses of these young actors, already in costume. He corrects here the tone of a voice, there a gesture... All start again patiently , one two, three times. Different settings of a scene are tested, to choose the best one... The viewer can appreciate the feat that this work represents : directing actors is an art, acting is an art ! Understanding one's character is not enough, they have to be actors , move on stage , dare gestures, tones of their voice they didn't know, in front of an audience, to give life to their characters . A beautiful work !

Two performances are scheduled :

Tuesday, December 18 at 19h
Wednesday, December 19 at 19h
Amphitheater High School Grand Air

The students of La Baule welcome students from a high school in Le Havre for a performance of The History Boys and will go see it performed by students of International School in Saint -Germain -en- Laye in February 2013.

Theater Workshop

The Importance of Being Ernest


All the pupils in the 2nde international class, the 2nde 1, enjoyed a theater workshop organized by Mrs. Blasco and supervised by a professional actor, Jonathan Hayes , from the company Orca Theatre, who also gives theatre workshops for the Théâtre en Anglais company. This English-born actor, trained at Guilford Drama School has been living in France for thirty years and has performed with the troupe of the Théâtre du Soleil of Ariane Mouchkine and with Peter Brook 's actors. He also acts just as well in French as in English. He has also mastered the art of mask in the Commedia dell'arte.  A link allows you to get acquainted with his company.

This course was held in the Maison des Lycéens on Tuesday 20
th and in the school auditorium on Wednesday,March 21st which is our ‘theatre’.  It ended with a performance of scenes from The Importance of Being Ernestwhich had been worked during these two days and in the five hours of lessons the previous week where Mrs Blasco worked on pronunciation, diction and intonation and expression. The workshops focused first of all on physical warm-ups, group-building, improvisation and how to work confidently in the theatre space. 18


Nine students had already successfully performed in early March in the play Our Country's Good at the beginning of the month, but for most others it was a first acting experience. All embarked on the adventure with enthusiasm and curiosity. Having attended part of the course, I can testify to everyone's work, the attention of groups gathered in the ‘wings’, watching the actors performing and ready to respond in turn. We must congratulate them at having rising to such a challenge: They had to first master the text, quickly slip in one or even two, roles, learn to project their voice, to look at the audience, to move around the stage, to consider the presence of other actors on the set (oh, this is difficult when the temptation is to be overwhelmed by personal apprehension!). They also learned to work with the props. The Importance of Being Ernest is a comedy, the characters were played by several actors in turn. The changes took place on the stage, the transfer of props and accessories (hats, tie, jacket ...) allowed the audience to follow the thread of the story. These exchanges of costumes in full view of the audience fitted well in a plot where identity is such a central preoccupation . This added to the comedy, especially as the players stayed in character to exchange items in a carefully choreographed exchange.

The audience of about 20 enthusiastic parents and the CPE, Florence Duval arrived punctually at to enjoy the 40 minute performance and of course applaud a great success! 

13  41...qui finit... 30  22

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