Drayton Arms Theatre (venue)
08 October 2021 (released)
09 October 2021
Miss Magarida is strict, Miss Magarida is assertive, Miss Magarida is mad and Miss Magarida’s ways are not to be disobeyed.
Originally written in 1971 by Roberto Athayde as a reaction to the dictatorship in Brazil, the play was initially banned and then censored in his home country before going across the globe, being played in over 50 countries and having become an international classic.
It is set in a Year 8 classroom with Miss Magarida – our teacher (played by Hanna Luna and Makoff), a school boy quietly sitting at a desk in the corner of the stage (played by Hugo Linton), and us – the audience as the rest of the class.
Using the roles and relationships between a teacher and the class as a metaphor, the play explores topics such as power, authority, oppression, submission, abuse, discipline, choice (or the absence of it) and freedom (or the absence of it)… in a funny, absurd and darkly humorous way.
In this production (produced and directed by Julie Drake), Miss Magarida is interestingly played by two actors although typically it is expected to be played by one. With this creative approach, the play not only highlights the bipolar division of Miss Magarida’s speeches and mentalities, but also reminds us what Miss Magarida represents is more than just a character, but a representation of an ideology, the totalitarianism authority and the head of a distorted society.
With current public health concerns to avoid the spread of Covid-19, the audience is suggested to refrain from calling out during the show, otherwise it would be even more interesting to see if there is more interaction between the audience and Miss Magarida.
A very well constructed and enjoyable show overall. Credits to the artistic direction and the excellent performance by the cast, especially in delivering the hysterical actions and monologues.