Students stun audience with a classical performance

16th January 2023

Performing Arts students from Solihull College & University Centre stunned their audience recently with a riveting performance of ‘Fuenteovejuna’ – a play first published in 1619.

The historical play was originally set in 1476 and based on an uprising which took place in the village of Fuenteovejuna, Spain. Students adapted the play to modern times, tackling themes of a difficult nature such as sexual abuse and violence.

2 female performers

Performing Arts students courageously tackled social issues in historical play

The play portrayed class struggle in the village of Fuenteovejuna which was under the rule of an abusive and violent commander. The villagers decided to challenge the autocratic commander and stood together in solidarity to bring about his demise. The end saw a judge rule in favour of the village and did not find them guilty of the commander’s murder.

In preparation for the challenging roles they undertook, the students researched the events of 1476 and learnt about the Spanish Golden Age. The stage for their performance was in the round allowing the audience closer access to the performance and in keeping with the classical nature of the play.

Following the performance, an audience member commented: “The students have hit the nail on the head with performing those difficult scenes and portraying the essence of the play.”

The thematic lighting and bloodied costumes created an eery atmosphere on stage

During a Q&A session with peers, the performers shared their experiences and explained the process of modernising the play to fit important themes in our current society.

Student Triniti Gittens shared: “It was strange to find how many of the themes covered in this 17th century play are still relevant today. We brought in aspects of the MeToo, Times Up and No More movements which have had a huge global impact in recent years. We felt it was important for us to convey that message.”

Find out more about the College’s Performing Arts courses: Performing Arts