By Teresa Gomez, Communications and Marketing

18 February 2019 - 12:08

In February, again this year, our students were able to enjoy, the visiting theatre company, Barricade Arts. This year they staged a version of “Lord of The Flies” (El señor de las moscas). This work is considered a classic of post-war English literature and essential reading for schools and colleges. It is the first and most famous novel by William Golding, whom we also plan to pay tribute to, at the We Love Books Festival, which the School organizes in April, every year.

In this moral fable about the human condition, Golding introduces us to around 30 boys who find themselves trying to survive, on a desert island after a plane crash. The boys between the ages of 6 and 12 are archetypical figures in society (the calm one, the optimistic one, the logical one, one who is insecure, one with psychopathic tendencies and one who manipulates others, etc.) They have to get organized in extreme conditions and soon they divide into two groups with separate leaders. The author reflects on how civilization and barbarism come into conflict and the extremes to which humanity can resort.

The island is depicted as a civilization which starts from scratch: it stems from chaos and disorganization, moves onto democracy and finishes up as anarchy. Golding plays with fear, peer pressure and the inexperience of the youngsters to show what happens when human beings give way to their crueler instincts. Both the real and metaphorical sides to this Nobel prize winning story, invited deep thought from our students and certainly made an impression on them.

Based in London, Barricade Arts Ltd is a theatre company dedicated to experimental art, creating and developing performances of the highest quality. In this adaptation of the Golding classic, the real and the abstract mark a production which uses techniques inspired by Brecht y Berkoff. The original use of music and sound was also an integral part of the performance. By mixing choral arrangements from popular, traditional songs with tribal drumbeats, the music becomes part of the story and helps to show the breakdown of order.

As we did last year, the performance was made freely available to other Madrid schools. This year we had students from IES Tirso de Molina and the Montessory School Los Fresnos watching.

Making the most of their visit to Madrid, Barricade Arts also performed "Wings", but just for our own British Council School students. This is their own work and is designed for children who are 6 to 12 years old. It is based on David Aldmon´s “Skellig” and Gabriel García Márquez´s short story: “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”. With these as a reference point, Barricade Arts tells a new story which explores new attitudes towards unusual things and the ways in which differences are sometimes celebrated, sometimes feared. The theatre company was also able to add some workshops around the performance. They spoke to the students about their play and about theatre in general.

Just like last year, when Barricade Arts performed another great classic at the School, “Animal Farm”, it has been a great pleasure to host them. A great forerunner to our We Love Books Festival which we will hold in April.