School play inspired by Charle Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

DRAMA: Shirley Boys' High School and Avonside Girls' High School will perform an original production by their head of drama and playwright Ken Hudson.

Getting to work with a professional playwright for an original production is a rare occurrence for any aspiring performer.

But not for Shirley Boys’ and Avonside Girls’ High School students, who will be performing an original play by Shirley’s head of drama Ken Hudson.

Mr Hudson, who has previously written for The Court Theatre, has developed a new play inspired by English writer Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.

The original play Two Cities Told Again has been described by Mr Hudson as a “psychological drama” where the main characters are “heavily conflicted” between doing what is right and their passions.

“The main thing was I didn’t set out to write a school production because I never do that
I wanted to write a play I would be happy with so it could be performed by anybody anywhere,” he said.

Mr Hudson said he thought the scripts for Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities was a bit “Victorian” and “melodramatic” which was why he decided to rewrite the play.

About 50 students will take part in the production.

It will be Mr Hudson’s sixth production with Shirley Boys’ after he became a teacher at the school nine years ago.

In his first production, only 12 students took part (some of which needed a lot of persuasion).

Mr Hudson said it also didn’t help with the first production being at the time of the September 4, 2010, earthquake.

“They did not have much of a history of drama, they did in 60s and 70s I think but it all sort of faded out . . . it was a bit of a rocky road getting it up and running,” he said.

•Two Cities Told Again will be performed at the Shirley Boys’ High School main hall at 7pm from today through to August 10. Tickets cost $10 and will be sold at the door.