Return of the Oakham Student Arts Festival (OSAF)
Oakham Student Arts Festival (OSAF) has been running for over 10 years now and is a one-of-a-kind festival where the Drama department staff take a backseat, and the students are in charge.
With the freedom to produce and perform their own ideas, students are given the opportunity to showcase their talent and creativity to a live audience and experience first-hand the wonderful warmth and support for the art they have created.
This year audiences enjoyed two very different but equally powerful and stand-out performances.
The first piece was an ensemble of eights actors each with their own story to tell, performing solo, as pairs and as a trio and the audience watched on as their stories intertwined.
The simplicity of the set and costumes, and the minimal use of any props allowed the characters and their stories to take centre stage.
The second was a solo piece by Form 6 Drama Scholar Mesi who took to the stage to perform a monologue from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
As Mesi began her piece she appeared nervous, both physically and vocally. As an audience member you were suddenly aware of how daunting it must be as a school pupil to stand solo and deliver such a challenging monologue to a live audience. Mesi’s confidence seemed shaken as she lost her way and looked to her Drama teacher for support.
Suddenly, a second voice dominated the space, Mesi’s internal monologue, a discouraging voice of disappointment which proceeded to take her over, from there on, the loudest voice in the room was the voice in her head, something we all could perhaps relate to.
During the audience Q&A at the end of both performances, Mesi was asked what had inspired such a unique piece and why she wanted us all to believe she had forgotten her lines – “To play with the fact that people usually think the priority of the act is to make the audience feel comfortable, I kind of wanted to try and see if I could make people feel freaked out …I’m so sorry…” – to which Mesi received another huge round of applause for her performance.
Adam, Form 5, added: “OSAF was a great experience. I really enjoyed acting with my friends and performing a piece we’d devised ourselves. It was extremely freeing, and I can’t wait to do it next year.”