Celebrating Shakespeare

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Students from Years 7-13 have taken part in a series of events to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, arguably the finest playwright and poet ever to write in the English language.

An Evening of Shakespeare in the Westwood Theatre featured four different companies and three of the Bard’s most popular plays.

Students from the Year 7 Drama Club had been working on their performance about Shakespeare’s life since their second week in school, led and directed by Year 11 students Libby Monroe and Shumi Torrance. They had all worked extremely hard, shown exceptional commitment and delivered an excellent performance after a rehearsal period of only 8 weeks.

The Contemporary Dance Company, led by Rebecca Denby from LABAN, performed The Dream – a beautiful and inspired interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The performance, which included a number of new Year 7 students, demonstrated how much progress they have made as a dance company over the last two years.

Students in Years 8-10 performed a version of Macbeth, while students in Years 11-13 took on Measure for Measure. In advance of their performances, both companies enjoyed a workshop at the Broadway Theatre with two directors from the Shakespeare For Schools Festival who were very impressed with their professionalism and talent.

Having worked extremely hard on their pieces, these two companies were entered into the Festival itself and took part in the special performance at the Broadway Theatre in Catford on Tuesday 22 November. They therefore had the experience of performing on two different stages and seeing how this impacted the staging of their performances.

Head of Drama Laura Yandell said: “All the students have worked incredibly hard perfecting their pieces, and for the cast of Macbeth and Measure for Measure in particular this really is just the beginning of their journey.”

All the lights, sound and stage management tonight are being led by a student Technical Theatre Crew, trained by Mr Matthews, who have been an invaluable support and are always extremely organised, committed and professional.

The final activity was a lunchtime lecture given by departing Headteacher Mrs Kathyrn Pullen, focussing on the position of women in Shakespeare’s times and specifically in his plays, attended by both English and drama students from Year 10 upwards.