6 May 2023
Writing: Lewis Dacre (Year 11)
Editing: Divit Kelmani (Year 11)
The evening began with students taking the train to Hammersmith station. The journey was long but we were constantly on high alert for fear of being left behind in the various crowded underground stations as Mr Millar warned had happened in previous years. Once we arrived, we split into groups of our choice and enjoyed spending some free time in the area surrounding the Hammersmith station and the Lyric Theatre before the play began.
The Good Person of Szechwan is a thought-provoking and engaging play that explores the complexities of human morality and the struggle for goodness in a world full of challenges. The play tells the story of Shen Te, who is forced to adopt a ruthless alter-ego in order to survive in a corrupt society. After the gods descend to earth and give her money, thinking that they have finally found their “good person” to reward, she is then taken advantage of. Soon enough, her generosity leads to her being left with nothing. To cope with the harsh reality of her situation, Shen Te invents a separate persona, Shui Ta, who is tough and business smart. As Shui Ta, she is able to defend herself and make a living, but at the cost of her own conscience and the people who rely on her.
The play is masterfully written, with Brecht's signature style of alienation upsetting the audience's expectations. The characters frequently break the fourth wall and address the audience directly, inviting them to reflect on the events unfolding on stage and the broader social issues at play. Overall, it was both an educational and entertaining experience for the GCSE and A Level Drama students who went to watch, made even more special as it would be the last school trip for us before our dreaded exams.