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NEWS: Sixth Form production of The SneezeWhitgift Sixth Form students accomplish the tragic and hilarious collection of short stories by Anton Chekhov


Date published: Fri 29 Mar 2019   Category: Performing Arts


This year’s Sixth Form performance was one of short stories and one-act comedy vaudevilles by Russian playwright Anton Chekov, adapted by Michael Frayn. Considered to be amongst the greatest writers of short fiction in history, Anton also practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career.

English and Drama Teacher, Mr Paul Wilson commented, “Comedy and tragedy both arise out of confusion – it is how this confusion resolves itself that determines whether we laugh or weep.”

The production opened with Drama, where Jude Willoughby played the role of Pavel, a sarcastic and much too busy script writer, and Yasmin Irving (Old Palace of John Whitgift School) played the melodramatic role of Murashkna, the dame auditioning her script who meets an unfortunate and shocking denouement. All the performances that followed were equally impressive, especially considering many of the Sixth Form actors had never previously taken on an acting role.

The play that hands itself to the title, The Sneeze was a very entertaining story of a Government Clerk, who on a night out with his wife, accidently sneezes on a General sitting directly in front of him. Archie Day who plays Chervyakov (the sneezer), did an excellent job at depicting the horror that plagues him throughout, as well as Jacob Rose who played the General Brizzhalov, whose expression during the slow motion replay of the sneeze was highly amusing.

Other highlights included Charlie Barber’s performance during The Evils of Tobacco, where he captivated the audience with his take on the character of Nyukhin, cleverly using his voice and quirky mannerisms to depict a tragic and lovable character.

Thanks to all the staff and students who put together a memorable and entertaining evening. Special thanks to Mr Paul Wilson and Mr Simon Hudson for directing the plays, as well as to the girls from Old Palace of John Whitgift School and Croydon High School.

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