Year 7 Titanic Imaginations

Mrs Suzanne Chinnock, describes the Year 7  English and Drama trip on Tuesday:

We stepped into the grandeur of the second class drawing room of the Mauretania, marvelling at the wooden panelling, our eyes travelling upwards to the circular balcony and decorated skylight which suffused the room with light. Upstairs panelled officers’ cabins, complete with their original fittings, looked out over the bay and the ship’s wheel sat proudly, a reminder of the Mauretania’s many journeys across the Atlantic…

This authentic setting was the ideal place in which to immerse ourselves in the story of another famous luxury liner, perhaps the most famous of all, and one we have been studying in our English and drama lessons: RMS Titanic. Initially, we created a series of still images capturing the chronology of that doomed maiden voyage – from the bustling excitement of Southampton, to the opulence of the first class accommodation, moving to the crow’s nest and the dreadful sight which met the eyes Frederick Fleet, and finally to the sinking and the dreadful fate of those for whom there were simply not enough lifeboats…

Next, we produced a series of contrasting soundscapes, building in intensity towards the final rush to the lifeboats and then capturing the terrible poignancy of those left in the water…

Using physical theatre, sound effects and movements, we recreated the final two hours of the tragedy, working creatively to make the ship and the iceberg with our bodies and re-enacting the separation of the bow and stern sections and that terrible plunge into the freezing waters of the Atlantic… Some of us used pathetic fallacy to capture the iceberg, engendering a real sense of menace. Others used movement beautifully and evocatively to show the stern section tilting until it was vertical and sinking into the water below. 

Our final piece was a distorted nightmare sequence capturing the point of view of a sleeping survivor of the Titanic, haunted by the memories of that fateful night. With orchestral instruments brought to life, children’s rhymes sung in eerie voices, choral speaking and a series of thought tunnels, our imagination knew no limits.

Demonstrating so many of our attitudes to learning: creativity, curiosity, consideration and collaboration, Tuesday’s drama workshop at The Boathouse was inspired. We are grateful to Mrs Ritchie and her parents-in-law for this unique opportunity to create and perform in a truly remarkable setting.