‘Mes Chers Voisins’ By Onatti Productions

Posted: 23rd November 2017

Mr Alejandro, Head of Modern Languages, explains the value of Onatti Production’s work

“On Monday 20th November 2017 the Modern Languages Department welcomed the first of three visits this academic year by Onatti Productions. The production company’s aim is to “Boost the students’ confidence so they leave having watched a play in a foreign language, been able to follow the story, recognised many words and phrases AND enjoyed and related to the story”.  Actors Clarisse Lhoni-Botte and Axel Perin told the story of five different teenagers who live on the same street to our Form III, Lower IV, Upper IV and GCSE French students.

These humorous plays help to enrich our Modern Languages programme by raising engagement and enjoyment of the subject. They include much audience participation and are an excellent way of developing students’ listening skills as they are completely immersed in the language. Below are comments from some of our Form III students, some who had been studying French in our Junior school, and others who have recently taken up the language”:

Olivia, Form III: “When I heard that there was to be a play in fluent French I thought, “How am I supposed to understand?” When it started however, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to follow the storyline, owing to the actors’ enthusiasm and actions. That was one of the things I loved”

Sofia, Form III: “I thought that the French play was amazing. I thought that they used French language that we could understand. I understood most of it and it was fun being a volunteer!”

Julia, Form III: “I enjoyed the play because it was funny and the actors interacted with us which helped us understand what the play was about. They also spoke slowly and repeated themselves so that we would understand what they were saying.”

Naomi, Form III: “The way that the actors changed costumes was great and very quick! I also liked how the storyline was easy to follow and I understood more French than I thought I would.”

Kara, Form III: “I liked the French play because it was interactive and the actors were fluent in French and English. Everyone was able to understand it because the themes were very modern.”

Chloe, Lower IV: “The play was very funny, I could understand what they were saying as they were using basic French so all abilities could understand. I also liked how they interacted with all of us so we had to stretch our abilities to be able to fully understand the play.”

Sennen, Upper IV: “It was such a fun afternoon as we got to join in with some parts of the play and I was lucky enough to be chosen to go up on stage. Although it was quite nerve-racking it was also a lot of fun and I was able to practice some of my French whilst I was at it by talking to the characters. The play was about two different boys who were in love with two different girls and what their relationships were like. The first pair ended up going out together but the second boy ended up being dumped by the girl. The actors conveyed the story really effectively by exaggerating their actions and so it helped us to understand the French better and translate enough of it so that we understood the story. The actors were also really friendly and pronounced everything really clearly so it helped us to hear what new French words sounded like. These plays are always helpful and each time you can practice understanding the French and so each year you get better and understand more of it. It was really funny throughout and I can’t wait until we get to see another play.”

Sofia, Upper IV: “The story was about a boy next door and a girl next door. The boy was called Hugo and the girl was called Claudia. It was about how the girl has fallen in love with the boy but the boy did not really like her in return.  He says mean things about her but by the end of the play he starts to like her. However for the things he had done to her she does not like him back at all.

I thought the characters were really interesting, funny and amazing because when they were changing they really shocked me – it was really quick! What they pulled off was astonishing. It helped me learn the words because when you listen you repeat what they say and try to figure out what they really mean. In general these plays help me learn new words because I usually process words I don’t know twice in my head.

I also liked the play because it felt like we were real neighbours who lived in the town because they would pick you and you would participate in the show as a character. Going up on stage also built up my confidence and helped me with learning new vocabulary.”


Categories: Senior Whole School