Giants of Old
by Adam Usden and Oscar Blustin
“Their portraits stare down at us, we see their names engraved on every wall and celebrate their memory in story and song. But it’s easy to forget that the great Old Harrovians were once just schoolboys themselves, day-dreaming in the same classrooms, crossing the same High Street and returning to the same boarding houses as Harrovians today.”
SPECIFIQ was commissioned by Harrow School to create a new piece of theatre celebrating a selection of notable Old Harrovians. The play investigated the relationship between Harrow and its pupils over the centuries, as well as offering an insight into the institutional trials and triumphs of those who would one day go on to great things.
Many Old Harrovians have written extensively on their time at the school and the influence it had on them; anecdotes from these accounts and other legends from the school’s history formed the basis of the play. Current Harrovians played the majority of the parts and devised the climactic scenes, enacting for instance, a young Jawaharlal Nehru, struggling to negotiate the politics of the second year, or Lord Byron reacting explosively to the disrespect of his teachers, or Winston Churchill discovering his devotion to public service. The production took place in the lead up to the centenary of the First World War, and acknowledged and honoured Harrow’s contribution.
Giants of Old led audiences on a multi-stranded journey through a succession of school buildings, several of which are rarely seen by the public. The production ran for four sold-out performances in June 2014.
Felix Griffin Pain
Rafe Baker Wilbraham
Director: Oscar Blustin
Writers: Adam Usden & Oscar Blustin
Assistant Director: Tobias Deacon
Costume Designer: Caroline Marcuse
Production Manager/Stage Manager: Becky Brown
Production Photography: Hannah Anketell