A Winter's Tale (October 2013)
Twenty of our Drama students have been working hard on an abridged performance of Shakespeare's 'A Winter's Tale' as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, taking place at the Tacchi Morris Theatre, Taunton on 15 October.
Our production is one of five 30 minute Shakespeare productions being performed by Somerset schools during the evening. As part of their preparations, our students took part in a theatre workshop run by the Shakespeare Schools Festival team, who showed them how to use their bodies and voices to create maximum effect on the stage. For some of our students the Festival will be their first opportunity to perform in a real theatre and the workshop enabled them to get a feel for the stage and build their skills and confidence.
The Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF) is the UK's largest Youth Drama Festival involving schools and theatres across the country. Four schools from Somerset are taking part, each performing a different Shakespeare play.
The Tempest (October 2012)
I spent a most enjoyable evening on Tuesday 16 October at The Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton, where four of our Somerset schools were re-enacting truncated plays by William Shakespeare. I have to say that the acting and professionalism throughout were exemplary. The students obviously took great pride in their performances and all of the schools involved should be justly proud of their achievements.
As a staff member of Haygrove school, I can most definitely say I was delighted by our student's rendition of 'The Tempest'. In half an hour the cast played out a commendable shortened version of the classic play with just the right amount of humour. Our students managed to get over the main story so well, in such a short space of time and the audience were enthralled from beginning to end.
Taking their cue from the recent film version of the same play, Prospero was played by a female cast member. The shipwreck scene was exciting and managed to convey the motion of the boat with hardly a prop in sight. The main Cast never missed a line or a beat throughout and the chemistry between them was tangible. A particularly cheeky Ariel was enchanting and Caliban was a very believable 'beast'. The peripheral actors kept the whole thing moving smoothly and the whole performance was a total delight to watch.
Considering the students had around five minutes in between each performance to occupy the stage; the props were well chosen to suit a variety of purposes. The movement on stage was choreographed perfectly and carried out smoothly and seamlessly. It felt as though this was a play that had been performed many times as opposed to a one and only 'opening night'.
Our students and the other three schools involved had obviously put in an immense amount of effort and practise to turn out such polished performances. I was amazed to see how talented our students were. A truly memorable experience. Well done to all the students and staff involved.
Report by Mrs Meeking