Lower II takes on ‘Romeo and Juliet’

Posted: 25th November 2016

Lower II takes on ‘Romeo and Juliet’

‘Wherefore art thou Romeo?’

Ms Hagerty, Director of Sixth Form and teacher of Drama writes about Lower II’s contribution to the Shakespeare Schools Festival 2016:

‘Monday 14th November marked the day when girls in Lower II took to the stage to perform their very own version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, ‘Romeo and Juliet, at the Watermans Arts Centre as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival 2016.

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Last Spring, Miss Brown, Head of Drama, and I decided that we would like to put forward a proposal to take part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival this Autumn, so got to work planning the show. Our Parents’ Committee kindly funded the project which meant that 31 of our girls were going to be able to perform at the Watermans Arts Centre in front of a large paying audience.

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‘At Shakespeare Schools Festival we use the unique power of Shakespeare to transform lives. Our annual Festival uses a rigorous and supportive process to train teachers and young people in an active and ambitious way of working with Shakespeare.’ ( SSF website)

The girls were cast in September and rehearsals started. I decided to place the piece in a tribal ‘Tarzan and Jane’ setting and invited Mr Chappory, Head of Geography, to play the African drum for us which he thankfully agreed to!

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As part of the SSF programme, I was lucky enough to attend a training day in July, at which I learnt a number of fantastic techniques geared towards helping children to access Shakespeare. I became an actor again, which was great! The girls were also invited to attend a cast workshop with professional directors in October, before returning to the venue for the technical and dress rehearsals and, of course, the performance itself on 14th November.

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The feedback given by the SSF Residential Director on the night commented on how professional the girls were and also how beautiful their performances, were whether in lead roles or in the chorus.

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I would like to thank Miss Brown, Miss Daya, Mrs Round and, of course, Mr Chappory for their help and time putting the production together. But lastly, thanks must go to the 31 girls who worked so hard to learn their lines in a relatively short rehearsal process and give their best for the performance on the night.‘

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