Jonathan, a successful playwright and broadcaster, guided the group of seven drama scholars through the structure for starting to write a play. He broke down what often seems like a daunting task by first asking the pupils to think of a topic to write about and then improvise a short scene. He also emphasised the importance of each scene being intrinsic to the overall plot of the play.
Over the two-hour masterclass, the scholars explored what makes a scene exciting, character objectives, dialogue and much more. They also performed a short scene from Jonathan’s play Dead Sheep which explores the political turmoil surrounding Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe, her longest serving cabinet minister and Foreign Secretary.
George Mecrate-Butcher, Lower Sixth, said:
“The whole workshop was thought-provoking, and I definitely learned a lot, having done a bit of playwriting a few years ago it certainly helped me consider the steps needed to structure a play.
“Mr Maitland was an articulate speaker who emphasised the arduous career path posed by such an industry as theatre. He certainly inspired me to think properly about the decisions I want to make in the future as, in such a ruthless industry, being good is not always good enough. It’s about going above and beyond and surpassing expectations.”