Mr Hinds, Head of English, recently took a group of students to the theatre as part of their studies in English!
“Despite the rain and the floods, the Holes that Year 7 and 8 went to see at Malvern Theatre were dry as a bone. The only dangers were the rattlesnakes and yellow spotted lizards. No, I have not lost touch with reality but am talking about the stage production of Louis Sachar’s novel “Holes” which Year 7 and 8 have been studying!
In outline, the story is about a teenager called Stanley Yelnats (can you work out anything interesting about his surname?) who is arrested for stealing a pair of trainers that literally fell from the sky.
His repeated denials are not enough to convince the police he is innocent and he is sent to Camp Greenlake supposedly to be reformed but in reality to dig holes for the intimidating Warden. Day after day, Stanley and the other inhabitants of Tent D (Armpit, Magnet, X-Ray and Zero) have to dig a same size five foot wide and five foot deep hole for as long as it takes, allegedly to be rehabilitated but in reality to find treasure that the sinister Warden is convinced is buried under the dried up, arid lake bed.
At this point, the story is complicated by the introduction of the back story concerning Stanley’s “dirty rotten pig stealing grandfather”, Madam Zeroni and the nefarious Trout Walker, ancestor of the Warden. These transitions in time and place were expertly handled by the cast making the story and links across time easy to follow. The holes themselves were giant tubs which the characters shovelled real sand out of (I’m not sure the stage hands appreciated this though!) and the wildlife portrayed using puppetry. Everything was clear and logical with the satisfying ending tying up all the threads of the tale. It was fun, fast moving and engaging.
Even better was that our students were given a touch tour of the stage and props by the cast. They were chased by lizards, bitten by the snake, stroked the donkey, sat in chairs, tried on costumes, the lot. The cast were enthusiastic and welcoming, as were the theatre. The only thing missing was audio description which the staff provided. I am still nursing the bruises from when Leo nudged me if I forgot as I got caught up in the action!
If you get the chance to see play, do so – you won’t be disappointed.”