Monday, December 4, 2023

Commedia characters take over Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer school, Ormiston Park Academy

Commedia characters take over Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer school, Ormiston Park Academy

STUDENTS at Ormiston Park Academy got lessons in comedy and characterisation over three days when artists from Thurrock-based theatre troupe The Complete Commedia Company visited the school. 2

Bernadette Wakeling and Alex Mangan from Complete Commedia ran workshops in commedia dell’arte, the 16th century Italian style of theatre. 65 students from three classes from Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in the physical theatre and movement workshops. They explored commedia and stock characters using traditional masks and costumes. The workshops were part of the school’s ROH Thurrock Trailblazer programme.


Jo Bridge, Drama Curriculum Leader at Ormiston Park Academy said “In such a short time, students embraced new characters from an unknown style of theatre. In the creative hands of Bernadette and Alex, the students left behind Thurrock and transported themselves to early 16th Century Europe – capturing the fun, the wit and joy, of playful improvisations, that would captivate any audience of today. Students from Ormiston Park worked tremendously hard with this physical style of theatre showing commitment and focus. We would like to thank the Trailblazer project for introducing the wonderful world of Commedia and providing a memorable workshop building confidence and creativity. What a fantastic experience!”

Bernadette Wakeling, Artistic Director of The Complete Commedia Company said “We were thrilled to work for the inspirational drama students at Ormiston Park Academy. It was incredible to work with so many creative talents in such an innovative, professional environment. Thurrock Trailblazer is a really exciting programme and we are delighted to work as one of its Cultural Partners as it provides opportunities for professional companies like us to work with these excellent students.”

Royal Opera House Thurrock Trailblazer provides pupils with access to high quality arts and culture activities provided by Royal Opera House and other cultural organizations. Working with the ROH Learning and Participation team each school creates a yearlong calendar of cross-curricular creative activities that is tailored to their school’s needs. The programme can include any art form such as: creative writing, visual arts and design, drama, dance, music, singing, film and photography.

To find out more about ROH Thurrock Trailblazer, please email or go to


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