Cannot thank Leeton High School enough for their incredible generosity and support throughout the rehearsal period for Henry V. You have been our home for 7 weeks. This is where we built our play. From all of us, thanks for having us! Now, onto the @roxyleeton #RoxyHenryV #Theatre #LHS #Shakespeare #Leeton
In December 2020, a group of people met at the Multipurpose Hall at Leeton Highschool. It was the day of the first auditions for this audacious movement that would become the most unique production of Henry V. Shakespeare himself would have enjoyed the moment. A big school hall. A brand new Director. A bunch of people who had only very very recently found one another. The heat. The faltering, moving, earnest, courageous machinations of the day – each new face, bravely standing alone in a circle on the wooden floor, in front of a panel of assessors, and a small camera, filming their every move. Young and old, the stayers and the no-shows, the ones familiar with Shakespeare, the ones who had never read a word. The teenagers and the mothers, the locals and the migrants – a long, fascinating, challenging day. The boldness of the enterprise. The surprises. With Brandon, Jake and Bonnie – watching, taking notes, welcoming each one with a gentle reprise. Out of ether, the rawest of talents apparated into the space in the high school hall. The nascent buds of a company of players. The first tendrils of growth. Ground Zero.
Two months in the big hall, sometimes with the air conditioning humming, sometimes the rain drumming, sometimes the wind howling and rattling in the rafters. Some of us, with such vivid, deep-rooted memories of our time at that high school, in that hall – the trees, the red brick walls, the ovals, the slant of the sun in the long afternoon… memories memories memories.
The childhood dreams, the teenage heartbreak, the school discos, and school plays, and Presentation Days and sports days – Leeton High School. Qui non Proficit Deficit. All the days of our lives there. Losing it all and clawing it back. All the faces and ghosts of the past. The griefs and the triumphs. Survival. Transformation.
And here in the morning of our lives, embracing something though we aren’t quite sure what it will mean to us, and what we will become. Back to school, to the hall of our past, to make something wonderful. The tentative steps. The hesitancy. Building confidence in slow, incremental steps.. and then the striding.
From these foundations, the Speer’s Shakespeare Company of Players takes its place on the stage of The Roxy Theatre – and the countdown to OPening Night begins….
Get your tickets now roxyleeton.com.au #roxyhenryv