From education to employment

coda4maKbet’s Last Night a Resounding Success for Former Questor’s Students

In the cosy confines of the Studio Room at the Questors Theatre a sell ““ out audience gathered to enjoy and experience the last night of the performance of coda4maKbet.

The lively audience of theatre lovers succumbed to the dimming lights and were held enthralled by the powerful material and dramatic performances from the cast. All but one of the cast members were former participants and graduates from the Questor acting course, a project that is funded and supported by Kingston College, and many studied under the multi talented writer, director actor and teacher Nicholas Jonne.


The play was hardly for the faint of heart, as it challenged the audience to experience the trauma and trials that two young acting hopefuls, Kimiya Yektaa and Kristian Mulholland, were subjected to in search of their dreams. Whether it be the sleep deprivation that was convincingly portrayed by Salome Azizi as Kimiya, or the horrified reaction of Dieter Thomas as Kristian, staggering with blood on his hands after an apparent murder, the evening challenged the audience to examine just how far an individual would go to achieve their own dreams.

The acting remained of the highest quality, and the use of medium was perhaps even more impressive. The lighting was carefully used and manipulated, as was the use of movement. This was particularly forceful as the cast of “Teatr K” leaned forward in perfect unison of action and motion to welcome Kimiya and Kristian. The dark humour was skilfully used to highlight the often harrowing content through contrast, with the entrance of Kornelius (played by Nicholas Jonne himself) a particularly dramatic example.

The fluid direction, the use of both pre ““ recorded music and the impressive performance from Orpheus Papafilippou as violin playing Kyros, brought to mind the cinematic direction that theatre can explore with sufficient care and dedication. Such dedication to a performance from inception to performance on the part of actors and directors alike is the perfect antidote to those wearied of the endless round of thoughtless and mindless entertainment that seems to be a self ““ sustaining phenomenon.

A Performer’s Profile

All of the cast were members at one stage of the Questor Theatre acting training programme, a fine example of an acting course that offers a professionally recognised acting course. They are often multi ““ talented. Indeed, one performer, Orpheus Papafilippou, was leading the Wren Ensemble in concert not 36 hours before. On Friday, Orpheus gave an impressively powerful display of virtuosity, musicality and passion at the Regent’s Hall, London. He spoke to FE News about his participation and passion for acting.

“I greatly enjoyed being a part of coda4maKbet,” he said. “On a personal note it allowed me to act in both English and Greek and to perform as a violinist as an integral part of the whole piece. Writer and Director Nicholas Jonne created a highly charged, deep, interesting and complex work. Multiple elements from Shakespeares Macbeth, many different languages, a fantastic visual concept and stylised presentation and acting are some of the reasons why I found it inspiring to be a part of this work.”

Nicholas Jonne

The play was written and directed by Nicholas Jonne, who also played the role of Kornelius. Following his tour de force performance in the role of Kornelius, he was kind enough to discuss the origins of both Theatrestorm and of the Questors programme: “Questors Theatre has run a part time acting course for over fifty years.

“It is a two year course,” he continued, “two evenings a week plus Saturday afternoons. A presentation at the end of year one, more of a workshop kind of thing and in the second year the students are directed in one studio play and one playhouse production. Many then go on to drama school and some go straight into the profession. [The students are] Often mixed ages, minimum 18 years old, no real maximum.”

It is all too easy for us as the audience to passively accept the product of mass production in the cinema, theatre and in music. It requires little thought, after all, to appreciate a movie with a plethora of big explosions and blue screen technology. This makes performances of the high levels of professionalism such as that of coda4maKbet all the more precious for the challenge that they offer to our minds and for the truly engaging and exciting experience that they provide. Obviously, the training being provided by Questor is of the very best; proof of the need for maintaining and expanding adult education.

Jethro Marsh

Read more about Director and Writer Nicholas Jonne right here at FE News!

Related Articles