On the morning of Thursday, 26 May 2016, the attention of the girls in Year 7 was focused on something else besides schoolwork. Don’t worry, it wasn’t boys. Period 1 Subject: Bullying.
But instead of exploring this issue in the classroom, we had the chance to experience it live and in the auditorium. Taking centre stage was Rachel and Rodney performing to us the show Verbal Combat. This two actor show glided through topics such as peer manipulation, cyber bullying, social media, rumours, teasing, threatening and breaking the law.
The script writing and acting was flawless, which gave us as an audience the chance to delve into the interesting story. The show opened on the different friendship groups in the fictional school, such as the Goths, the Lab Rats, the Brainy Musical Group, the Surfies, the Skaters and the Jocks. This beginning may sound a bit clichéd, but the story clearly became far more enticing as time went by.
Without going into a complete watch-and-write process, the performance went like this: Gabriella, a popular girl, felt as if everything was normal until the day the new girl Emily joined the school. Emily got shunned from every friendship group, so she played her bass guitar alone and in the empty music room. And so without any friends, Emily became vulnerable to the malicious and scheming popular group.
Although never seen on stage, Katrina masterminded and manipulated Gabriella, who in turn threatened Rocky into bullying Emily. Both Rocky and Gabriella felt they had their own unjust reasons for hating Emily, but they really only hated her because deep down they felt insecure. Desperate to not get eaten by bigger fish than themselves, Gab and Rock joined the ‘school’ of fish looking for smaller fish to prey on.
But even the smallest fish have spines, so Emily fought back against Rocky’s threatening by rapping back that ‘music comes from the heart’. Sadly, Emily’s situation got worse and worse until after seeing Gab with her personal diary, she accidentally fell over a staircase railing and her injury required the ambulance.
This performance was a genuine example of how bullying can have serious consequences; the Year Sevens agree that Verbal Combat showed these consequences and was obviously a good use of time. The show was definitely another reason why it’s shameful to bully and disgraceful to be a bystander to those who need our help.