Shakespeare Schools Festival
The national Shakespeare Schools Festival provides a valuable opportunity for pupils to work on a production, whether through acting or backstage, bring it to fruition and perform it in front of an audience. This year the St Augustine’s Priory production is Macbeth and will be performed at the Watermans Arts Centre on 16th November. Here, Nell Dobson, Upper V Alpha, Assistant Director on Macbeth, reports on the progress so far of this production.
‘This term, the Drama Gifted Pathway programme offered those who are part of this programme an opportunity to take part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival which is taking place at the Watermans Arts Centre on Thursday 16th November. We are performing a 30 minute version of Macbeth as part of this national festival of Shakespeare. My role is Assistant Director and we have a cast of twenty-four girls and a crew of six from Upper II to Lower VI.
On Friday 6th October we visited the Watermans Theatre for our Company Workshop. There we worked with professional directors and developed our play focusing on specific scenes and working to include the entire cast.
We began with a warm up, introducing ourselves to the other school present and then discussing how we wanted our audience to feel during our play, discussing all the different emotions and thoughts we wanted each audience member to go through. This helped us develop our acting and made us think about the message we were trying to convey. We then began to work on our vocals making sure we were all projecting our voices to the back of the auditorium. After that the Watermans team shared five top tips with us for acting on their stage.
After this we split into our individual companies and selected a scene we wanted to work on. We chose Macbeth’s dagger soliloquy and worked on a piece of physical theatre that we called ‘The Bloody Business’. We used our entire cast who used different levels and used their bodies to portray the madness of Macbeth’s mind.
We have since taken what we have learnt from our workshop and applied it to the play; the physical theatre piece creates an incredible atmosphere and was so much fun to work on. We are now looking forward to our performance in November.’
For tickets to see Macbeth, please call the Watermans Arts Centre Box Office on 020 8232 1010.Categories: Junior Senior Sixth Form Whole School