The Shakespeare Schools Festival casts of Year 6 and Year 8 Prep pupils entertained an audience of three hundred people this week at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, with their abridged productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors. They performed with two other local schools who, in turn, showed Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet: four abridged plays in one night!
It has been, as always, a fabulous experience for all of the pupils! To have rehearsed and produced a play, participated in cast workshops with National Theatre actors and then to be able to perform in a professional theatre with all their staff, equipment and expertise, is an experience that they will never forget.
At the end of the show the area festival co-ordinator addressed the audience to give a critique of each play performed. She was very complimentary about both of the Prep productions.
The Year 6 actors and actresses, directed by Miss Anderes and performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream were the youngest cast throughout the evening. The SSF co-ordinator commented, “The world of the fairies was wonderful all the way through, with what is a very young cast. You brought out the characters, had lots of enthusiasm and created the comedy well, which is very difficult. There was a youthful vibrancy to the whole production and you were clearly having fun. I loved the 1960s music soundtrack. It was absolutely wonderful.”
The Year 8 group, directed by Ms Douglas, performed The Comedy of Errors which is a play that is rarely seen, due to the extremely complicated and chaotic storyline. It is difficult to achieve with clarity and sense, but is the plot can be made clearer by clever costuming and props. Our comments from the SSF co-ordinator were equally pleasing for this group!
"You told the story with such energy and gusto," the co-ordinator said. "You made all the relationships very clear whilst clarifying what is an extremely difficult story. This play is not performed very often and it was lovely to see something different shown as part of the festival. The clever use of simple props and super costumes was inspiring and really added to the fun of the show. I loved the mix of girls playing boys and boys playing girls as that added to the comedy, as well as the Hollywood-style music that enhanced the story brilliantly.”
If you missed the show, don't panic! There is a chance for anyone who missed this event to come and see it on the last morning of term when both plays will be performed in the Assembly Hall, to the school pupils and staff in the assembly hall.
Congratulations to all the pupils involved as they worked extremely hard and should be proud of their achievements!