After working on the Shakespeare School Festival since August, on Wednesday 06 November the cast of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ finally got to perform in the Marine Theatre, alongside two other schools. They delivered a fantastic performance which made everyone including parents, friends and teachers very proud. It has been a wonderful experience working with such a talented, fun and just really nice group of students. I have learnt a lot from the experience as did they. Below are a few comments from some of the cast. Mrs Cruwys-Finnigan, Head of Drama

From the moment I walked into the summer school I felt completely comfortable with everyone in the cast. I loved the rehearsal process and seeing the show evolve into the great performance that we had in the end. The performance that we gave was great and it felt like we couldn’t have done anything else to make it better. I’m happy that we made you proud! Jess Jeffery

From this exciting experience I learned a range of new things to improve myself for the years ahead. The things I learned include working with tech rehearsals, gathering costume parts and learning about tension states. During this experience I enjoyed for the first time performing at the Marine Theatre and practicing more drama. This experience will help me in the future due to learning new techniques and more thinking about how I move around the stage in a variety of different ways. I was surprised at how much good feedback we got as a group, this meant that I was very proud of our final performance. Also working with great friends and great teachers made this a great Shakespeare festival. Jagen Burke

I enjoyed every second of this project and there was nothing I would change. I learnt a lot through this, including performing Shakespeare is actually very fun. I also learnt that I can work with many different people, which will be helpful in the future. I enjoyed every part of it, although I loved the stage fighting and the final performance was amazing. This experience has broadened my understanding of Shakespeare and it will be a useful skill for me in the future. I think one major surprise was that I actually enjoyed the performance. At first I didn’t really feel too keen but now I’m glad I did it because it was really fun. I feel proud of myself and the whole cast as I think we performed it the best we could. Mr Shakespeare would be very pleased. Harvey Causley

I have learnt that it is actually very easy to understand and speak Shakespeare if you put the effort in. I have also learnt more about characterisation as my character, Titania was very strong and I had to portray that through body language as well as speech. I enjoyed being queen of the fairies and getting a very cool costume, as well as watching everyone else having fun with their parts too. I am proud of being part of the whole experience and will be very sad when it is over. Emily Jones

I have learnt lots of group skills and a greater understanding of the play and how to read the language. I particularly enjoyed getting to know people from other years and incorporate music into performances. I feel proud that I took part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival and that I was able to play my violin in the play. I learnt more about the physicality of playing a man and hope I will be able to put this into my drama in the future. Although I really enjoyed the experience, I did feel that the amount of time we had with the people from the festival in the workshop could have been longer. But I loved giving feedback to the primary school and seeing the final product when they performed, it was lovely to know that we had helped them. Roisin Linnett

What a mightily impressive evening of performances with the final production a real credit to Woodroffe drama teaching.

The younger actors in the Tempest had such sensitivity to the meaning and rhythm of their lines that it was breathtaking to hear them. I struggle to get my actors in the Lyme Mummers Plays to inhabit the meaning of the lines as consummately as that and they are all adults. I also enjoyed the hard-hitting nature of the Macbeth play which was carefully choreographed and included some slick sword-fighting. The young actors had strong physical presences on the stage and were held back a bit by the script insisting on including so many lines.

But I was truly wowed by ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. It is done so very often that it was terrific to see such a refreshing interpretation. I liked all the levels in it as Oberon and his fairy friends were never pinned down to the stage, and the suggestion that the wood could one moment be a place of circus mischief and the next a place of ritual humiliation like a Facebook page gone wrong. I thought the lullaby was brilliant and the sound effects really made sense of the action. Theseus and Hippolyta were very well acted, really classy when confronted with the mechanicals. Well done to everyone who was involved. Harry Ford

Shakespeare Schools Festival Final Production

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