Drama, Drama / Tuesday, March 19, 2019 S1-S3 Drama Club: ‘Blue Stockings’

1869. Girton College, Cambridge. The Girton girls study ferociously and match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women leave with nothing but the stigma of being a 'blue stocking' - an unnatural, educated woman. They are denied degrees and go home unqualified, and with no chance of marriage.

Tess Moffat and her fellow first years are determined to win the right to graduate. But little do they anticipate the hurdles in their way: the distractions of love, the cruelty of the class divide or the strength of the opposition, who will do anything to stop them. The play follows them over one tumultuous academic year, in their fight to change the future of education.

The cast was led by Drama Club stalwart, Mairi McLeod, as the feisty and conflicted Tess Moffat who has to choose between education and love. Not only did Mairi execute a moving and thought-provoking performance, she also managed to ride a bicycle around the stage!

The female students were played by Anika Frame, Alayna Khatoon and Shreya Marshall, who ably tackled university-level Natural Science, as well as giving accomplished portrayals of young women struggling with the dilemmas of their day.

Noah Sarvesvaran, Edward Howat, Aimee Teale, Ben Henderson and Sol Waddell represented the male students, shocked and excited in equal measure by the presence of female students in their lecture theatre. After starring as Peter Pan in last year’s production, Noah led the male cast with aplomb and it was a pleasure to welcome Ben, Edward and Sol to the stage, as Drama Club newcomers.  

A special mention must go to Aimee Teale, who took on one of the lead roles with less than two weeks to go: her performance was gripping and her impassioned monologue in Act 2 garnered a much deserved round of applause. These skilful performances were complemented by Eve Whitton as the Head of Girton College, Mia Huntley as Miss Blake, the suffragette lecturer to the girls, and Tom Salmon as Mr Banks, the inspiring lecturer from Trinity College.

The fantastic principal characters were ably supported by an ensemble of suffragettes, students and lecturers. Behind the scenes, Erin McIntyre designed the lighting, with Alexander Hendry on sound. Inspired by the message of the play, pupils raised over £100 for the Malala Fund, to help give all girls the opportunity to learn and lead.