Five professional actors gave an imaginative, interactive performance which captivated their young audience of pupils in years 3 and 4. The company performs in 800 primary and secondary schools each year, introducing children to the power and dramatic range of Shakespeare’s plays.
With a simple set and minimal props, Shakespeare’s tale of magic was brought vividly to life around and among the children, sometimes involving the whole audience to create various dramatic scenes. These included the storm that wrecks Prospero’s boat, a furious argument between Prospero and Caliban, and the enchanting banquet with which the spirits of the island trick Prospero’s enemies.
It was the best play I’ve ever seen because there were funny bits and serious bits”, William enthused. “Caliban was my favourite character because he was very dramatic and shouty.
The children were actively involved in the play from the start, answering questions about the characters and the plot, and through an imaginative range of drama and language activities. Everyone had the opportunity to speak and enjoy Shakespeare’s words in short, accessible sections, while some really got into their roles as individual characters, wielding daggers and dispensing wisdom.
As well as providing an excellent introduction to Shakespeare, “The Tempest” also made a perfect start to this term’s Creative Curriculum topic, “Storms and Shipwrecks”.
The Young Shakespeare Company’s visit was a resounding success, and everyone was left eager to watch more of Shakespeare’s plays. ‘It was addictive because you were always wondering what was going to happen next”, said Isabelle. ‘It was the best play I’ve ever seen because there were funny bits and serious bits”, William enthused. “Caliban was my favourite character because he was very dramatic and shouty.”