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28th September 2021

Oakham Drama Scholars stage powerful production

Last week saw the return of live theatre to the QET, with the Middle School Drama Scholars putting on the first production of the new academic year – a successful three-night run of ‘The Government Inspector’. A classic of 19th century Russian theatre, Nikolai Gogol’s seminal play (translated by David Harrower) is a masterful comedy of errors, filled with laughs from beginning to end.

Set in a small Russian town, the corrupt officials are rocked by the news of the imminent arrival of a government inspector from St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, an equally corrupt (and penniless) civil servant has been caught at the Inn trying to charge his expenses to the Crown. The mayor and his hapless sycophants put two and two together and get five, and hilarity ensues.

Led by two excellent performances from Olivia, playing the obsequious mayor, being spun a yarn by Patrick, as the duplicitous Khlestakov, their chemistry drove the show; they were supported admirably by a 12-strong ensemble cast of their fellow scholars. The single set staging worked particularly well, especially as the play came to its frenetic end, and the cast certainly looked magnificent in their 19th century dress.

A strong opening to the year’s dramatic calendar, with everyone involved having clearly worked very hard over their summer holiday to pull this off so early in the year.

David Norell, Teacher of Drama and Acting at Oakham School, said: “We were delighted to kick off the Oakham School year with a classic piece that has been in rehearsal since January; this cast of the finest of last year’s Form 3 have worked tirelessly – both online and live – to bring Theatre at Oakham out of the dark.”

“The Queen Elizabeth Theatre has a hard earned and well-deserved reputation for presenting plays and musicals of a “professional” standard – every year this is the only Theatre in Oakham or Rutland that produces so much and of such high quality.”

Next up from the Drama Department is the Main School Production of Singin’ in the Rain, running from 30 November to 4 December. Tickets are available through the QET ticket office – please email theatretickets@oakham.rutland.sch.uk

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