For four nights at the end of the spring term 2023 our Shrewsbury High School actors took to the stage for four nights in Dominic Cooke’s adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s novel Noughts and Crosses. In her own words Noughts and Crosses was written “to look at race and class dynamics through a non-traditional lens. Noughts and Crosses was quite simply a book I had to write, a story I had to tell.”
Head of Drama at SHS and Director Paula Tombs first came across Malorie Blackman’s novels when recommended them by a pupil some years ago, and the first book was then adapted into a play by Dominic Cooke, later becoming a set text for GCSE Drama. “The play was purposely written to be accessible to young people, speaking to them about race, diversity, tolerance and social divides. As a teacher of Drama I believe strongly that this is one of the gifts of the arts, to encourage these discussions in our young actors and audience members, developing enquiry and curiosity in the world in which we live. These debates will then hopefully develop our future politicians and influencers who really could make a difference to the generations to come.”
Production Supervisor and Stage Manager Amelia wanted to be part of the show because of the important message behind it.”This show is important for a modern-day audience to see as it really highlights the inequalities that are still present in today’s society as a whole. We have a mainly white cast but there is a deep respect and understanding for the underlining concept of the play throughout the whole cast, which is what Malorie envisioned.”
The girls, along with Mrs Tombs and Head of Music Mr Bunn have worked on this play for several months, discussing the themes at length as they have worked together. Mrs Tombs says the cast have dedicated themselves to this project wholeheartedly and it has been a huge pleasure to work with them.
Congratulations girls on your hard work and brilliant performance over four nights – a fantastic way to bring the spring term to an end.