Plays recall tough times

HARSH LESSON: Year 12 students Alexis Grosvenor, Claire Broughton, Libby Duncan, Fleur Neill and Kyle Cossey rehearse a scene from Fear and Misery of the Third Reich where Hitler’s youth learn that in order to survive, it’s best not to ask questions.

Life in Nazi Germany and child poverty in late 19th century Dunedin are the subjects of Lincoln High School’s two major senior drama productions this year.

Year 12 and 13 drama students are busy rehearsing for the plays, which will be staged in the school hall next month.

The year 12 students will be performing Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertold Brecht.

Brecht’s series of interconnected playlets describe events which took place in German households in the 1930s. They dramatise the suspicion and anxiety experienced by ordinary people, particularly Jewish citizens, as the power of Hitler grew.

Two performances with different casts will take place on April 6, at 6pm and 8pm.

The year 13 students will be performing Children of the Poor by Mervyn Thompson.

Thompson’s adaptation of John A Lee’s 1934 novel follows the formative years of the autobiographical Albany Porcello, a disillusioned adolescent who comes face-to-face with desperate poverty, misery, crime and the contempt of Presbyterian Dunedin.

Children of the Poor is an ensemble play with musical elements. The script uses theatrical devices, including direct narration, chorus and physical theatre, to confront the audience with Porcello’s tale of poverty and hardship.

Again, there will be two performances with different casts. These will be on April 11, at 6pm and 8pm.

Tickets to any of these performances are $5 and can be purchased from the school office. Door sales will also be available.