GCSE English students were given a masterclass in understanding character when a pair of actors performed extracts from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men at the College.
Paul Sayers and Simon Bolton, from Rooftop Theatre Company, ran a workshop on the classic US novel at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) on 29 March.
The story, based on the author’s own experiences, follows two displaced migrant workers looking for work in California during the Great Depression in the 1920s, and is part of this year’s GCSE English curriculum.
Paul and Simon played out characters from the book and asked students to guess who they were, and later performed several scenes to the students.
They also invited students to think of a famous person and consider different aspects of their character based on physical description, what other people say about them and what they have read or heard in the media.
GCSE English student Serge Gorevoj, 25, said: “It has given me a much better idea of what the characters are like. It was much more entertaining and engaging than just being taught in the classroom, and so you remember it better, which will help with the exam.”
Rosa Caiazza. 18, who is also studying for the exam, added: “I’ve read the book and the characters the actors performed were just how I imagined them to be. It really brought it to life.”
Rooftop Theatre Company is based in Ludlow, Shropshire, and has performed a variety of productions, including Shakespeare, farces and pantomime.
Paul, who is also Artistic Director of Rooftop Theatre Company said: “We often get asked to do workshops at schools and colleges.
“We look to make them exciting and interactive. It gives us a chance to do something different and practice performing in front of an audience, and it’s a great way to get young people interested in literature and the theatre.”