EPQ News – “The Director’s Complex”

The EPQ course is a fantastic opportunity for students to follow their intellectual curiosity and extend their subject skills beyond their A level syllabi. Alongside the research essay, candidates can choose to make an ‘artefact’, which can be a joint endeavour.

In a Channing first, Lily Bea Howe and Hannah Schlenker had a dramatic vision and decided they would like to make a play! As Co-Artistic Directors they have made an incredible team, writing and producing a completely original powerful piece called ‘The Director’s Complex’. As the title suggestion it was full of meta-theatrical humour, but was also intensely serious.

Lily Bea, the Director both in and of the piece, combined her passion for anthropology and drama, while Hannah relished the opportunity of designing every aspect of the show. Initially it was planned as a wholly immersive audience experience exploring free will, then Covid struck. Undaunted and imaginatively responding to their times, they adapted it into a socially distanced piece exploring isolation and community. Hannah’s innovative use of the Arundel Centre balconies with lighting evocative of Dan Flavin, and audience involvement inspired by Punchdrunk theatre company, transported them to a dark dystopia.

Congratulations to the cast who all gave up so much of their time and performed with elan:

  • Maeve Gallagher
  • Saskia Kirkegaard
  • Lucy Narunsky
  • Khadija Rehman
  • Rebekah Treganna
  • Niamh Walter

The whole ensemble showed magnificent resilience: rehearsals started in person in September, transferred to Zoom this term, while the performance date was rescheduled 3 times and audiences vastly scaled down…and it was all worth it.The chilling atmosphere had their two bijou, socially distanced audiences shivering in awe, while the dialogue stimulated ideas around repression, rebellion, integrity and the power we each have to help one another, once we start communicating and working together. A universal message. It has been a joy and privilege to supervise this project, only made possible by Mr Gray’s unstinting practical support. Bravo Lily-Bea and Hannah – extraordinary imagination, commitment and collaboration.