12th May 22
The language of Shakespeare is echoing all over the school at the moment – in English and Drama lessons – and there has been a titter of excitement about it since the Shakespeare Assembly on Monday!
Played in by Hans Zimmer’s exciting score from the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean to conjure a mood of grand galleons and exotic lands, we were settled in the O’Byrne before students from Years 6, 7 and 8 introduced and performed key moments from The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as a mimed interpretation of ‘Sonnet 116’ (Let me not to the marriage of true minds…) in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday.
James (7O) introduced The Tempest with some helpful insights to keep the audience engaged, explaining that a ‘tempest’ is a violent storm and a ‘bark’ is an archaic word for a boat. He narrated how Prospero, a magician, raised a storm to bring his false brother to the island, as all on stage enacted the drama of the shipwreck with cries of ‘To prayers! Let’s all sink with the King!’. Yagiz and Sarah (8F) recreated Prospero’s poignant confession, the moment when he tells his daughter that he lost his power twelve years before because he became obsessed with magic: ‘Thy father was the Duke of Milan and a prince of power!’. We were spellbound as they caught the mood of secrecy and revelation that underpins the key theme of power in the play.
Next, Eva (8S) and Olivia (8R) transfixed the audience with a mime for ‘Sonnet 116’ that they had helped to choreograph, portraying his ideas about the enduring quality of true love. Then, Elizabeth (8R) gave us a thoughtful overview of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, explaining the parallel worlds of the mortals and the fairies in the play and how, due to Oberon’s mischief with magic, Titania awakes and falls madly in love with Bottom (who has been transformed into an ass!). Isabelle (7A) and Reuben (7O) drew delighted laughter from the audience with their amusing interpretation of the scene. Finally, as Puck, Sibylla (6E) performed a mesmerising rendition of Shakespeare’s famous epilogue: ‘… Give me your hands if we be friends, and Robin shall restore amends.’ What a performance!
Thank you to all who supported the children: to parents, who kindly encouraged the learning of lines and made possible the early rehearsals; the players, who showed great commitment, and spoke up so beautifully on the day; members of the Tech Team, who created the mood with clever use of lighting and music (James S, James F and James H, 8F); Mrs West; Miss Alexander; Mrs Barry; and the children’s form tutors, who kindly supported their attendance of rehearsals during form-time.
Head of English and Humanities