Congratulations to King’s Ely Sixth Form student, Rufus Froy, for writing and directing his very own play.
Rufus, who is in Year 13, started writing his play, entitled ‘Ship of Fools or Land Ho!’, in November last year. On Friday, September 15th, students, staff, and some of Rufus’ family came together inside the school’s Black Box Studio to enjoy two performances of the 45-minute play.
Rufus directed the show, Jack Tisi oversaw everything ‘backstage’, and Matthew Jackson, Libby Hills, Sam Trueman, Edie Thomson, and Polly Casey made up the cast.
Rufus, who joined King’s Ely Prep in Year 6, said: “Ship of Fools or Land Ho! is set on a ship with five pirates. They never leave the boat and they never talk to each other. They fish and then feed the fish to the boat, and that moves the boat. One day, all the fish disappear and they realise that they have got to talk to each other. The majority of the play is about what happens after it, and how it all goes to chaos.
“I chose to write this play because there was a national theatre playwriting competition, and the Drama Department said it would support us in the writing of it. I had no intention of directing the play, until it did quite well in the competition. I started writing it in November 2022, I submitted it in March this year, I decided to direct it in April, and I then spent the next four months doing another four drafts!”
When asked if there were any challenges along the way, Rufus said: “There were lots of challenges, such as casting. I spent a long time deciding who to ask to be in it. Logistics of whether the actual set etc would be possible in the stage I was given, and doing everything in such a short space of time (two weeks) was challenging too – set, costume, directing, writing, budgeting, and marketing.”
Rufus says he has been “incredibly well supported” by the Drama Department here at King’s, adding: “Especially by Mr Pengelly and Mr Lane, whom I asked endless questions to and they happily (I hope!) answered them all. It would not have been possible without the support of the Drama Department.”
Rufus said: “I am very happy with how the performances went. I think the cast brought it alive, and I think they should all be very happy with how it went too. I would like to thank them for their total commitment to a fairly bonkers concept and given that we only had two weeks to rehearse it, they should very proud.”
When asked if he plans to write any other plays in the future, Rufus said: “I am not sure to be honest! I sort of want to work on the Ship of Fools script, because there are things I would change after having heard them properly perform it. I would probably stretch out some of the scenes and there are other bits that I would change. But I do not know if I can bring myself to do that…”
This is a shining example of how an education at King’s is enriched and creative. As Old Elean, Sarah White, said as she left King’s to study English Literature at the University of Bristol: “I am so excited to be pursuing a creative degree thanks to my creativity never having been restricted at King’s. Individuality is key at King’s and I am grateful for that.”