After an early morning wake-up call to get to the bus by 8:00am (a shock to the system for many of the students), we made our way up to the London Irish Centre in Camden Town for a day of lectures and talks on one of our set texts - Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar named Desire.
There, we heard several highly interesting and engaging talks from several lecturers: ranging from Dr Bown’s talk “Stanley Kowalski: more than just a villain?” to “Williams' dramatic techniques” by former Birmingham University lecturer Dr Brian Hazel.
One of the standout figures from our lecturers was Professor John McRae of Massolit fame, who came to us from the University of Nottingham. Over the course of the afternoon session, we listened to two of his talks on why Blanche DuBois is a tragic heroine as well as linking it in to society and context of the time. Sparky, left-field and a brilliant orator, McRae delivered his notes in such a way that held his audience completely captivated by his words.
We were particularly intrigued by how he discussed the literary parallels between Alec and Tess’s encounter in Tess of the D’Urbevilles and the notorious Scene 10 of Streetcar - a comparison that caused great debate on the bus back to Felsted.
His character and wit didn’t end when he left the podium though - as he continued to amuse and entertain those who wished to speak to him individually at the end of the lectures.
He was even so kind to give a few of us his autograph - which caused great excitement amongst both himself and the students involved.
By Charlotte Perry and Victoria Barker, Year 12