Harvey Aungles reflects on his experience....
Having not performed on stage since before I started taking formal exams, I can honestly say that walking into the rehearsal room was one of the more nerve wracking experiences of my first few weeks of term one. Having to perform like that in front of people was completely alien to me. Thankfully as soon as I was in the room all the butterflies were put aside, Edward and Grace kept the atmosphere relaxed and friendly and I must have done alright in the end as I was given a part in one half of the split Chorus.
Next on the list of things I hadn’t encountered since year 9 were rehearsals. Having not experienced this sort of thing for a long time, I had little to no idea of what to expect. Edward once again was a hero and keen to give us time to get to know each other as Chorus members and come to terms with the lines and choreography we would be doing on stage. Rehearsals were started well in advance so that by the time in came to dress rehearsals and the final week madness everyone was off script and ready to focus down to the fine details as Edward asked them of us.
Something I never realised about taking part in a production like this is the new insight it gives you into both the play and Greek drama as a whole. Alongside taking part in the production I took a module in Greek Theatre and having first hand experience not only of the thought and theory behind a modern production of Antigone but also of the general form of a live performance of Greek tragedy was invaluable. I can’t stress enough how this production allowed me to gain a whole new understanding of Antigone and Greek drama by really getting an opportunity to live it first hand.
Beyond a lot of the theory and the final performance itself it is the people from the production that I remember most fondly. Getting a chance to get to know a group of people from all years and across courses while putting something like this together was a wonderful experience and I remember us laughing til our sides hurt on more than one occasion in rehearsal. Even as performance time began to loom Antigone never lost that sense of fun for me, whether it was making silly jokes in the dressing room or getting down to the performance itself, the whole production was one of the real highlights of my second year. As someone who didn’t take part in my first year I can honestly say that I missed out and that I will try my hardest to get into the cast for next year, never feel like inexperience or nerves are a reason not to audition because I overcame both and couldn’t be happier that I did.