On Wednesday 30 January 2019, the Year 10, 11 and 13 Drama students travelled to the Theatre Royal Stratford East, in London, to watch The Unreturning by Frantic Assembly. We left in the early evening and eventually, after some rush hour traffic, arrived in Stratford.
The play, directed by Neil Bettles, lasted for 100 minutes, with no interval. The play was about the story of 3 soldiers returning from war and showed how war had affected them. All 3 men were returning home to Scarborough; however they were all in different time periods - 1918, 2013, 2026. There were 3 main characters - George, Frankie and Nat. George was a soldier returning home from World War 1 who experienced problems with PTSD throughout the play. Then there was Frankie, a soldier returning from Afghanistan due to being discharged from the Army. Upon reaching home, his hopes of a warm welcome were not met, and he faced a hostile environment from his family and community. Lastly, there was Nat, a refugee from the future where England has been ravaged by civil war, mirroring the current situations in the middle east. He returns home on a rough boat ride, and sets out to find his brother that he left behind. He ends up meeting him again, but not in a pleasant encounter.
Overall, I thought the play was really good. The acting was phenomenal, the story kept me drawn in and the technical elements were amazing too. After the performance, the actors returned to the stage for a Q&A session with the audience. This was a very informative experience as it allowed us to get a better understanding of the characters and the performance as a whole. This was a useful trip for the Year 11 and 13 students as they can write about the play in their component 3 GCSE and A Level exams, and the Year 10 students can use it in their mocks too.
After another battle with the rush hour traffic, the students arrived back at school from an enjoyable trip at 11pm.
Kieran Cockayne - Head Boy
Photo by Tristram Kenton