The Truth Will Out

Last week the Year 13 Drama students studying A Level Drama performed their Unit 3 devised play ‘The Truth Will Out’. For this part of their exam they had to devise an original piece of theatre based on a particular stimulus. This year I gave them the very sad and true story of Derek Bentley, a 19 year old Englishman who was hanged for the murder of a policeman, which was committed in the course of a burglary attempt. The murder was committed by a friend and accomplice of Bentley's, Christopher Craig, then aged 16. However, Bentley was convicted as a party to murder, by the English law principle of common purpose, "joint enterprise". The jury at the trial found Bentley guilty based on the prosecution's interpretation of the ambiguous phrase "Let him have it" (Bentley's alleged instruction to Craig), after the judge, Lord Chief Justice Goddard, had described Bentley as "mentally aiding the murder of Police Constable Sidney Miles". Goddard then sentenced Bentley to death: at the time, no other sentence was possible. The Bentley case became a cause célèbre and led to a 45-year-long campaign to win Derek Bentley a posthumous pardon, which was granted in 1993, and then a further campaign for the quashing of his conviction for murder, which occurred in 1998.

The demands of this Unit were extremely challenging, especially when there are only two students in the group, as they had to do all the research and devising and were completely responsible for the creation of the piece. The two students, Harvey Causley and Imogen Killner, both worked extremely hard, with commitment and determination. We were very lucky to recruit Joe Urquhart, Year 12 Drama student, to be the third performer in the play, as the criteria of the exam required a minimum of three performers.

Harvey and Imogen have contributed significantly to the Drama department in their seven years at Woodroffe and this was their last performance here before moving on. I am really going to miss them and wish them a very successful and happy future.

Ms Cruwys-Finnigan, Head of Drama


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