Complete Works Theatre Company Incursion

On Wednesday 17 April, the Whitefriars Year 12 English cohort were visited by the ‘Complete Works Theatre Company’ for an incursion, taking place in the Healy Wilson Theatre as a part of their unit on ‘Writing About Play’; aiming to deepen their understanding of theatrical expression and storytelling overall.

The session begun with an opening discussion exploring the need for students to consider audience, purpose and context in the creation of their narratives, exploring a myriad of forms for creative expression ranging from speeches, stories, poems and even memoirs. In addition to this, students had the opportunity to explore the different, personal meanings of ‘play’ for them, developing their understanding of the concept and encouraging them to utilise this in conjunction with voice and style to resonate with their audience.

Following this, Ann from Complete Works treated the students to a performance of one of their mentor texts, Virginia Gay’s ‘Cyrano’. Reinforcing an understanding of character development and emotional depth, students worked to dissect the monologue for both its contents and the nature of its performance – looking closely into the nuanced use of language, fantasy and how context can aid in narrative progression.

Subsequently, Shontane performed a rendition of another mentor text, Chelsea Roffey’s ‘An Open Letter to Doubting Thomas’. Through this, students were encouraged to reflect on the power of personal experience within narrative – analysing rhetorical devices, narrative structures and how advocacy for personal beliefs can imbue meaning for an audience.

Finally, Jess and James challenged the students to experiment with expressive language through “All We Know of Dreaming”. As a part of this, students were given a generic sentence to rewrite with vivid language – evoking emotion and imagery through infusing depth into their writing.

Ultimately, the incursion provided students with a comprehensive understanding of their unit on ‘Writing About Play’ – exploring the different methods of literary exploration and creative expression in order to set them up for their unit. From understanding context and audience to the power of expressive language, analysis of mentor texts and dive into the mechanics of storytelling as a whole, students significantly benefitted from this experience.

A massive thank you to the Complete Theatre Works Company for providing Whitefriars with this experience.


Josh Sarlos

English Captain 2024