Beowulf school play at Orwell Park School praised by headteacher

Pupils at Orwell Park School in Ipswich performed a production of Beowulf. Pic: Ted Blackbrow.

Pupils at Orwell Park School in Ipswich performed a production of Beowulf. Pic: Ted Blackbrow. - Credit: Archant

Students in Ipswich have been praised after performing a captivating rendition of Beowulf.

Year six pupils at Orwell Park School used the Victorian ha-ha – a landscape design – in the schools grounds for the performance of the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest.

More than 3,000 lines long, Beowulf relates the exploits of its eponymous hero, and his successive battles with a monster named Grendel, with Grendel’s revengeful mother, and with a dragon which was guarding a hoard of treasure.

A total of 41 pupils delighted an audience of parents, friends, teachers and fellow students.

The classic tale of the triumph of good over evil culminated in a battle between Beowulf played by Rory Hollis and the dragon played by Will Lewellen, Robert Darell-Brown and James Parsons. In the fading light of a summer afternoon, the battle was one of the play’s highlights

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The school’s headmaster Adrian Brown and English and drama teacher Tom Lawley praised the cast for a “difficult performance during the exam term”.

They also thanked staff who helped with the make-up and costumes.

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The cast were helped by the fact that the school, on the banks of the River Orwell, was a favourite place for the Vikings to service their longships more than a thousand years ago.

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