‘The Wardrobe’ at Magazine Studio
A play exploring British History was performed by 19 young actors at the Gibraltar Academy of Music and Performing Arts.
The play at the Magazine Studio Theatre at Flat Bastion Road is an opportunity for young local talent to perform in a more intimate setting.
The Wardrobe is a play by Sam Holcroft that spans five centuries of British History and is part of a writing programme that the UK National Theatre holds every year.
The play was written to be performed by young people with a very large cast which ensure each person receives a role.
“I always like to give as many students as possible the opportunity to perform,” said GAMPA Vice Principle Tanya Santini.
“Every time you perform is a really valuable learning lesson, you can learn as many techniques as you can in class but it is in performance that you put all that knowledge together.”
She described how the play is about a Tudor wardrobe which belonged to Elizabeth of York.
King Richard III has been killed in battle meaning that Elizabeth must marry Henry VII.
“The wardrobe is part of her diary, part of her belongings,” Ms Santini said.
The narrative jumps between centuries of where the wardrobe has been.
“The play touches on a lot of different themes, so apart from given them the acting and performing experience, we have actually talked a lot about history,” Ms Santini said.
“I’ve given them homework to research the era that they are living in so they are aware of the world in which these characters live in. I think it has also been a history lesson for them.”
With a cast of 19 spanning in ages nine to 19 the team have had some five weeks to prepare.
Since GAMPA moved to its new premises at Hospital Hill its old premises at Flat Bastion Road will be used as a studio.
“We have converted our old premises into a studio theatre so it’s a performance space where we can put on smaller productions,” Ms Santini said.
“I think the issue that GAMPA and other theatre companies have had is that we are very limited in terms of performance spaces. The options usually come down to the INCE’s Hall or John Mackintosh Hall but there’s big costs in renting those places out and not always do you want to sell 300 tickets.”
“There are lots of plays and productions that require a more intimate setting. In this cast I have a lot of young students some of them which haven’t really performed at that much so it’s a good way to ease them into performing rather than putting them on a big stage in front of a huge audience.”
The Magazine Studios have been putting on a production once every six years and is open to rent for other theatre companies who want to perform on a smaller stage.
She encourages any theatre groups, writers, and artists to show their work at the Magazine.
“We want it to become a creative hub not only for GAMPA but the whole community of Gibraltar,” Ms Santini said.