Sold-out Performances for Whitgift’s Sixth Form Playwright
In October, Upper Sixth Form students George Jaques, Macauley Keeper and Harry Seager, along with Old Whitgiftians, Gus Flind-Henry and Byron Easmon, performed in three sold-out performances of Dilate. The play, by Athenaeum Theatre Company, is a cautionary tale about youth drug culture. The company, which focuses on current issues relevant to adolescents today, was set up earlier this year by George and his fellow Whitgiftians (also including Sam Webber and Oscar Nicholson) and soon expanded to welcome other young people with a passion for acting, all aged between 15 and 18.
The current Whitgiftians, all Drama Scholars (Macauley has been a professional actor since a young age), have appeared in numerous Whitgift productions including Hamlet, Spamalot, Bugsy Malone and Journey’s End between them. 19-year-old Old Whitgiftian, Henry Parritt OW (2009-16), a veteran Whitgift stage and technical crew member, did a fantastic job as Dilate’s Technical Director.
Not only is Athenaeum Theatre Company George’s brainchild, but he also wrote and directed Dilate. The enterprising 17-year-old’s first foray as a playwright came about in 2016 when he wrote Promises – featuring George, Macauley and Harry – as part of Whitgift’s annual showcase of Lower Sixth Form plays.
George plans on working with the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation – which helps educate young people, parents and schools about drug and alcohol issues – to bring the Dilate message to a wider audience.