The Angel and the Child Review
Sandbach School’s winter play has just finished its two night run with great success. Andy Cargill’s latest piece, The Angel and the Child, was performed by a strong cast of 17, mainly from years 11 & 12, and told the tale of Leonardo da Vinci and his mentor Andrea del Verrochio. Taking elements from Shaffer’s Amadeus, this brand new piece, written specifically for this performance, explored themes of jealousy, patronage, vengeance, and most importantly genius. Making use of the space, and the Sandbach Tech department, the performance contained acting alongside physical theatre, projection, lighting and music, that set the artistic Renaissance world brilliantly.
Taking the lead role of Andrea del Verrochio was Ben Sinclair of year 12. This character (drawn from Salieri of Amadeus) told the story to the audience as well as performing within the main action and so was on stage for almost the full 80 minutes of running time. Ben handled this brilliantly, and took the audience on a journey of vengeance and jealousy with authenticity: not an easy thing to do. He was joined by Luke Williams (year 12) as the famous da Vinci. This part spanned most of the character’s life, from childhood to the legendary figure’s early death, which of course gave Luke a challenge to explore age and maturity. Through physicality and voice work, Luke achieved this greatly, and the sense of true ageing took the audience through the time that was passing on stage.
The rest of the play was made up of a strong chorus of varying ages and experience. This chorus were responsible for playing multiple characters, as well as performing in moments of physical theatre and other less naturalistic moments. Their ability to swap characters, through costume and genuine characteristic changes, was integral to the success of the show, and this worked fantastically. The incorporation of most of the cast in all of the scenes of the play meant that everyone got truly quality stage time. Another great thing to see was the inclusion of the girls studying drama in Sixth Form. To see them welcomed to the school so quickly and positively must be encouraging for any potential students who may want to come and join Sandbach School Sixth Form.
One of the true heroes of the play, though, had to be the tech team. Employing 15 projectors, 40 lights, 6 speakers and 7 different laptops, Steve Davies’ team had the hands well and truly full. The handling of this was fantastically professional, and ran smoothly and authentically. With solar eclipses on the roof, the walls becoming the Sistine Chapel, and paintings popping up all over the place, the technology harnessed made for a beautiful set of absolute majesty. This opportunity for the tech team, as well as the whole cast, to work with such cutting edge theatre cannot be understated. Sandbach School’s drama department is clearly ready for any new theatre techniques that the world can throw at it.
With thanks to Harry Mace (former student).