Blundell’s school play, ‘Lorna Doone’, played to capacity audiences and received standing ovations when it was recently performed by students in Years 11-13. The production was based on the book written by R.D. Blackmore, who attended the school from 1837 and who set early parts of the book at Blundell’s, as the scene of hero John Ridd’s schooldays.
It is the first time that the school has performed this epic drama and was chosen to celebrate the first 25 years of the school’s purpose-built theatre, Ondaatje Hall. Amongst the guests for the gala reception on the final night of the play were pupils and staff who had been involved in the very first performance at the theatre.
The play tells the story of John’s love for Lorna Doone, one of the notorious Doone clan of Exmoor, against a backdrop of the Monmouth rebellion in the seventeenth century. The play was directed by James Rochfort, the school’s resident professional actor, whose theatre credits include the National Theatre’s Olivier award-winning All My Sons and leading roles on television including EastEnders, Lewis and the title role in Channel 4’s Snowdon and Margaret.