Year 8 Shakespeare Experience Day

Monday 15 July 2019

On Wednesday 19 June, Year 8 travelled to London for a tour of the Globe Theatre and an acting workshop, followed by a show at the Bridge Theatre.

When we arrive, we went inside the Globe Theatre and were amazed at the architecture and the divine and small details that made the recreation of the original wooden ‘O’ so special. The atmosphere inside was brilliant and like something we had never experienced before, with its open yard and its bright and dark colours that worked together perfectly. Whilst we were there, we talked about how Shakespeare’s plays were made for the Globe and also how the architecture creates advantages and disadvantages for the actors. For example, some of the audience not being able to see actors as the audience are all around you. However, we thought this could be turned into an advantage as you would be forced to make your performance more dynamic and believable.

After this, we took part in an acting workshop on Romeo and Juliet. We did exercises that real Shakespearean actors would do before they do a show to get in the right mind set. The main activity that we did was each taking a line from a speech said by Juliet and emphasising it more. This was building on the fact that we had discovered in the Globe that not everyone could see the actor meaning they would have to emphasise their acting more than they normally would. We all found this experience very interesting and revealing about what Shakespearean actors/actresses did in preparation for a play.

Finally, to end our trip to London, we watched an extremely enjoyable production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bridge Theatre. This was an experience all of us will never forget. Puck and Bottom were flawless and very convincing actors with both of them having to play particularly hard parts. It was a play that was extremely dynamic with platforms constantly rising from the ground and there being many tense scenes. It was extremely immersive, especially with our year being in the pit therefore having a connection with the characters who were constantly blocked by the audience! This made the experience even more real as the actors had to find their way through the crowd which is not dissimilar to real life.

There were many techniques which brought elements of the ingenious language techniques Shakespeare used in his plays. For example, Hippolyta started the play in a glass box which was a metaphor for patriarchy, how she can hear and see things but as a woman in this time period, she could do nothing about these things. The modern twists of the language Puck used and Oberon (instead of Titania) falling in love with Bottom made it all the more enjoyable. It was an experience like no other!

Year 8 had a fabulous time learning more about Shakespeare and watching the production, especially after working hard in our Shakespeare projects!

By Rachel, Year 8