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Mrs Salmon takes the stage
- Loyola School makes ICSE English syllabus exciting by dramatising prose

Remember the Crown witness Mrs Salmon, confused over which Adams twin murdered Mrs Parker? Or the in-love couple Jim and Della who sacrificed their best treasures in vain to buy each other Christmas gifts? Or the plaster of Paris fish that inspired many fishy stories?

Xpressions, an inter-school fest hosted by Loyola School Dramatics Club, put the memorable characters on stage on Thursday.

The two popular short stories and a novel extract — Graham Greene’s The Case for the Defence, O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi and Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat — are part of ICSE’s English syllabus from the prose collection, Treasure Trove.

Loyola School invited cradles to stage dramatic adaptations from Treasure Trove. Teachers Shalini Sharma and Shaon Mitra conceptualised this dramatic take on short stories to make English classes more exciting.

Around 11 schools submitted scripts but only three could stage shows within the stipulated time of 20 minutes.

Loyola School staged the chilling trial imagined by Greene, Gulmohur High School picked A Fishy Story, the extract from Jerome’s all-time favourite novel, while Hill Top School chose O’Henry’s eternal love story. Most students were from Classes IX and X.

Loyola School and XLRI mentors Shamita Ahuja and Uday Damodaran assessed the plays on acting, direction, script, use of lights and sound effects.

Finally, host Loyola School won while Gulmohur High School was the runner-up.

“Though this time only three schools were fully prepared, we hope more will be in the future,” Sharma, also coordinator of Dramatics Club, said. “We will try to get stories enacted on stage and filmed for an audio-visual archive.”

“It’s a great idea to bring stories alive,” said principal Father Victor Misquith.