Not many Primary schools study Shakespeare, but Hutton CE Primary does, which is really excellent in itself! However, for our year 6 pupils to be chosen to perform two scenes from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, at the Royal Shakespeare theatre in Stratford was a remarkable achievement.
Earlier this year, as part of an intensive three year programme of engagement between schools and the Royal Shakespeare Company, schools in the area were invited to take part in a celebration of Shakespeare at the Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare. The learning idea was to make children’s early encounters with Shakespeare exciting and relevant. Hutton Year 6 pupils performed their unique interpretation of two scenes from The Merchant of Venice, under the direction of their teacher, Kay Farnell. Such was the enthusiasm, energy and ideas shown by the 25 children that they were invited to Stratford to perform their scenes as part of the whole play.
So it was on a very early and wet July morning I was delighted to accompany our very excited budding actors to Stratford. We were greeted on our arrival, much to our delight, by our school name in lights outside the theatre!
The children rehearsed in the morning, together with two other primary school, and 3 secondary schools, who were also performing a different part of the play. In the afternoon every seat in the theatre was taken for the performance, which I found quite nerve-wracking, but the children took it all in their stride and behaved and performed impeccably.
all of the lines had been learnt by heart; no mean feat when it comes to Shakespeare! We felt so proud of them, not only for their outstanding acting abilities, but the way in which they conducted themselves throughout the entire day.
Kay Farnell summed up the children’s accomplishment by declaring “we have all had enormous fun and I am immensely proud of every one of my Shakesperian stars!”
Mary Potter (Foundation Governor, Hutton CE Primary School)