IGCSE narrative essay | 2010 May-Jun | Tell the story of what happened on the first night


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

Tell the story of what happened on the first night of a school play through the eyes of one of the actors OR somebody working behind the scenes.

Model Essay

A Night to Remember

As the house lights dimmed and the murmur of the audience quieted to a hushed anticipation, I stood backstage, my heart pounding in my chest. This was it, the first night of our school play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Months of rehearsals, line readings, and costume fittings had led up to this moment. As the stage manager, my role was to ensure everything went smoothly behind the scenes. Tonight, everything depended on precise timing and flawless execution.

The stage was a beautiful chaos of students in Elizabethan costumes, props waiting to be whisked on stage, and whispered final rehearsals. I could hear Mr. Thompson, our director, giving last-minute pep talks to the lead actors. His voice, usually a booming command, was now a soft murmur of encouragement. He had faith in us, and we had faith in him.

“Places, everyone!” I called out, trying to keep my voice steady. My clipboard felt heavy with the weight of responsibility as I checked off each actor’s position and the readiness of every prop. The first scene was about to begin, and Puck, played by Liam, was already at the edge of the curtain, ready to leap onto the stage with his mischievous energy.

The curtain rose, and the play began. My heart skipped a beat as I peeked through a small gap in the curtain. The audience was captivated from the start. I watched as Liam delivered his opening lines with perfect timing, his eyes twinkling with the same mischief as Puck himself. The other actors followed suit, their performances flawless, their voices carrying through the auditorium.

Backstage, we worked like a well-oiled machine. Set pieces were moved silently and efficiently, thanks to the meticulous planning and countless hours of practice. Despite the rush and the pressure, there was an exhilarating energy among us. We were all in this together, and that camaraderie kept us focused and determined.

The first act flew by, and before I knew it, it was time for the intermission. I took a deep breath, allowing myself a moment to savor the success of the first half. The actors were buzzing with excitement, exchanging high-fives and quick hugs. Mr. Thompson gave me a nod of approval, a rare but welcome sign that things were going well.


The second act brought its own set of challenges. A complicated scene change loomed, and I could feel the tension rising. As the final lines of the scene were delivered, I signaled the crew, and we sprang into action. It was a delicate dance of moving props, adjusting lights, and ensuring that everything was in place. Just as we finished, the actors stepped onto the stage, seamlessly continuing the story.

One moment stood out above the rest. It was the climax of the play, where Hermia and Lysander finally declare their love, and the magic of the fairy world comes to a crescendo. The lights dimmed to a soft, ethereal glow, and the music swelled. As I watched from the wings, I felt a lump in my throat. This was the moment we had all worked so hard for, and it was perfect.

The final scene played out, and the curtain fell to thunderous applause. The actors took their bows, their faces beaming with pride and relief. Backstage, we hugged and cheered, our hearts light with the triumph of a job well done.

As the audience filtered out, Mr. Thompson gathered us all together for a final word. His face, usually stern with focus, was now lit with a proud smile. “You did it,” he said simply. “You made magic tonight.”

And we had. On that first night of our school play, we created something unforgettable. The nerves, the excitement, the teamwork – it all came together to make a night we would remember for the rest of our lives.

Word Count: 642