“Caroline, Or Change” theatre trip!
Last Thursday a group of CTK English Literature students went to see Tony Kushner’s musical masterpiece ‘Caroline, Or Change’. It tells the story of Caroline, a black maid struggling to provide for her family on her wage of $30.
She has developed a hardened persona due to the adversities she has faced and this is reflected in the refrain that runs throughout the show ‘and I am mean, and I am tough, but $30 ain’t enough.’ Caroline works long hours in the basement tending to the needs of a wealthy Jewish household and, despite her hard exterior, the young boy in the family befriends her. Taking pity on Caroline, he leaves loose change in his pockets in the hope that she will take it to enable her to look after her family. This poses a dilemma for the protagonist, what is more important: her pride or feeding her children?
Our students were engrossed in the production and it really enabled them to see how to analyse plays in performance (which is a requirement of component 1 of their A Level). The motif of change running through the play was intriguing: the literal change left in the boy’s pockets and the rapid societal change that was happening in 1960s America, which was causing Caroline to feel left behind. Indeed, A Level English Literature student Funmi found the context fascinating, she said the musical: ‘gave [her] an insight into the lives of people of different races and how the death of John F. Kennedy affected people in America at the time’. Another student Natasha really focused on the staging and she said the director used ‘clever stage positioning to show the class differences between the characters.’
Nadirah commented that the show was ‘vibrant and highly enjoyable’ and whilst the subject matter was serious, there were also moments of humour. This was largely down to the magical realism of the piece; the singing washing machine in particular was an excellent vehicle for providing a commentary on Caroline’s life and internal thoughts. It was great to catch ‘Caroline, Or Change’ at the end of its West End run and we are already looking forward to our next theatre trip!
Trevor AQUINAS Progressed to: University of Lancaster Course: A Level Business, ICT and English Language and Literature
“My tutors at CTK were fundamental in my academic success. They were always approachable and willing to go the extra mile. I enjoyed taking part in extracurricular activities, including leading the sixth form band and being Director of the Business Enterprise Group, Student Governor and Student Head of Hall. ”
Bradley AQUINAS Progressed to: University of Nottingham Course: A Levels Maths A*, Physics A* and Chemistry A*
“At Christ the King I discovered I was resilient. My teachers really pushed me to be my best, I am in their debt, thank you for believing in me.”
Rose AQUINAS Progressed to: The University of Warwick Course: A Level History A, Politics A, Sociology A*
“CTK was a great environment for me to learn in. I’ve really enjoyed the teaching – all my teachers have been encouraging and supportive. They put in the extra time to help with workshops and revision to ensure we did well.”
Owen AQUINAS Progressed to: Royal Holloway University Course: A Level Maths A, Psychology B and Biology A
“I would recommend coming to CTK as the level of support offered by the subject teachers is exceptionally good. The best thing about CTK is being part of the friendliest group of students I've ever met. I'm applying to Oxford to study Psychology. ”
Esosa AQUINAS Progressed to: De Montfort University Course: A Level Biology, Chemistry and Maths
“My form tutor at CTK was exceptionally supportive every day. I value the freedom and independence of controlling my own learning, staying motivated whilst also having fun. The and people and sense of community provide a great environment. I have enjoyed extra opportunities such as joining summer schools and widening participation programs and becoming a student governor. I received lots of help from the careers guidance counsellor to help me realise what I want to do after sixth form. ”