On 27th April 2017 students from class 2 performed poems and songs inspired from a recent beach cleaning afternoon, while classes 3 and 4 performed a play entitled 'Tristan before the Tremors'.

School Entertainment Afternoon and Tristan Themed Play

Report and photos by Len Street

On Thursday 27th April 2017 students from class 2 supported by musical percussion performed poems and songs inspired from a recent beach cleaning afternoon, while classes 3 and 4 performed a Tristan themed play. The entertainment afternoon bought to end an exciting a busy first term of the year. The event proved popular by being well supported and received by family members of the students who performed.

Right: Class 2 students reciting a poem.

Introducing the play

Introducing the play
Introducing the play.

Introducing the play and the inspiration behind it

Back in mid-march 2017 as part of our Tristan Studies, I took my class 3 and 4 students down to the traditional Tristan thatched house in order that they may better understand and appreciate life on the island before the 1961 volcano and subsequent evacuation. To my delight I was surprised how much the students enjoyed this visit and the depth of their questioning. Reflecting on the impact of our visit and realising that many members of the island community who lived through these times are still with us, I decided to write a play. The students helped me in the planning of the characters, themes and some Tristanian English!

The play is entitled 'Tristan before the Tremors'. Set around the sheep shearing day and Christmas period of 1960, it introduces the audience to the traditional lifestyle and customs of the people of Tristan da Cunha. The play features a close knit family comprising three generations. Whilst the older generation are content and happy to continue as usual, some younger members guided by influences from the outside world are gradually beginning to test and question Tristan's traditional values and boundaries.

Christmas dinner scene Okalolies
Christmas dinner scene. The Okalolies visit on Old Year's Night.
Taking a bow
The performers receive applause at the end of the play.

Classes 3 and 4 worked extremely hard to learn their lines, plan their outfits and take part in the making of props, which consisted of real potatoes, a paper King Bird supported by fishing line and real shepherd's crooks. In recognition of all their hard work, the students even got to perform with real crisps and orange juice for the final Old Year's Night scene.