Royal Grammar School headmaster Bernard Trafford will unveil his new play, Flotsam, this Saturday (30th June) and Monday (2nd July) at the school’s Performing Arts Centre.
Trafford was inspired by the hardships faced by children in Brazil in the 1990s after reading Antony Swift’s book, Children for Social Change, and decided to put pen to paper more than 10 years ago.
But it was only after RGS drama teacher Trevor Walters suggested they write a musical together that Trafford decided to revisit his work.
Flotsam is set in a dystopian version of the UK in the not-too-distant future. Natural disasters, climate change, economic meltdowns and food riots are but a few of the challenges resulting from this damaged and dislocated society.
“Imagine the day after tomorrow, a place that we know has been altered by climate change, excessive fuel prices…something that we couldn’t’ have imagined 20 years ago,” Trafford told JesmondLocal. “It’s a story with a socio-political backdrop, focusing on the people instead of simply being another agenda-play.”
Among all the chaos lies an ambitious politician fixated on restoring order to the city. But this “good will” denies the many scavenger children who litter the streets a place in the new society, leaving them further disillusioned, alienated and more determined than ever to fight back.
“It’s all about confrontation between the children – their rights and their needs – and a politician who tries to be sincere but is actually vain and blind.”
The music is also written by Trafford, who was a music teacher before his time at RGS, with Walters taking the director’s seat and Neil Smith conducting the music.
Cast members range from years 8 to 13 with a mixture of drama enthusiasts and pupils who are wanting to try something new. The cast have been rehearsing to a tight schedule over the course of just one week as part of the school’s annual performing arts tradition.
For more information about the performances, call 0191 281 5711 or visit www.rgs.newcastle.sch.uk/home/