On Thursday 27th June, nine courageous Year 9 girls (Eleanor Adams, Alex Green, Poppy Hylton, Trixie Hylton, Leanne Keyter, Tamsin Lloyd, Juliette Marinelli, Karah Parry, Maddie Whitmore) set out for Bristol Grammar School to compete in the regional Festival of Latin Drama. Having spent time adapting their piece ‘rex spectaculum dat’ (The king gives a show) from the Cambridge Latin Course Book 2, which they performed at The Classical Symposium last term, the girls were ready to don their Celtic moustaches, Roman togas and join an afternoon of hugely entertaining drama, performed entirely in Latin. We were treated to a real mix of delightful pieces from an interpretation of Virgil’s Dido and Aeneas, to an adaptation of Cinderella, Say Yes to the Dress in Latin as well as stories taken from Greek myth and tragedy.
Our contribution revolved around the long-standing rivalry between two local chieftains, culminating in the dancing-girls being shooed off stage in favour of a dancing bear, which almost savages the lame king until Quintus saves the day. The poor German slave will never quite recover from seeing his beloved bear speared before his eyes by brave Quintus – eheu! The judges praised the girls for telling such a complex story with such clarity and compassion and they certainly earned both the laughs and sighs (each at the appropriate time) and delivered their piece with pace and action. The girls worked hard to learn their lines off by heart and deliver them with real feeling and accurate pronunciation and we are very proud to report that they earned third prize in the competition.
The esteemed judges were absolutely right when they said that all the students who entered were winners and that all their contributions were superb and very hard to judge. There is certainly a great deal of talent out there, but it was especially heart-warming to see how very alive the ancient world remains and just how much value a classical education adds, not just to teenage life, but to us all.
Here are some of the girls’ thoughts on their afternoon:
I really enjoyed the festival – it was so much fun to work with my friends on the play! Even though it was scary performing in front of the other schools, we all had a brilliant time! (Maddie)
It was nice to see others speaking Latin and be fully immersed in the Latin language. I also really enjoyed showing everyone what we could do in our play! (Karah)
Going to Bristol Grammar School to perform at the Latin Festival was lots of fun and it was a great experience. I really enjoyed watching and performing and I would definitely recommend it! (Trixie)