Girls Perform at the Shakespeare Schools Festival
On Halloween, the Year 10 GCSE Drama Groups from Malvern St James performed on the stage of the Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham as part of the Shakespeare School Festival.
Girls were able to successfully create an imaginative and intriguing performance of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and had spent weeks rehearsing for this special opportunity. Although this was a shortened version of the play, the important moments of the play were captured due to elements such as the juxtaposition of modern music with the Shakespearian language, enabling the audience to connect and engage closely with the performance.
The opening of the play was particularly memorable as it was accompanied by a snowball fight, which instantly exposed us into the wintry world of the play and underlined the tension created between Leontes (Emily Cox) and Polixenes (Al Jones). The play also included some aspects of physical theatre, including the creation of a giant bear (Mabel Pope) solving the problem of that most famous of Shakespeare’s stage directions, ‘Exeunt, pursued by a bear’, and the dancing at the ‘Pumpkin Carving Competition’, which, together with the Halloween masks, brought the whole play to life.
The performance enabled the girls to learn relevant skills and techniques such as team work and performance skills. The ensemble work between the girls worked really well as they remained strong throughout, maintaining a sense a unity between each other.
Every year, schools across the country take part in the annual Shakespeare Schools Festival, the world’s largest youth drama festival. This year’s festival involved around 30,000 participants, over 1000 schools and over 100 theatres.
This was a really enjoyable performance - well done everyone!
Words by Tito Otegbeye
Expressive Arts Prefect