Shakesperts Shaking Up Shakespeare

What a few months! The students of Thomas Middlecott Academy and Boston College have been working incredibly hard! Both groups have been creating content for the festival in April, and discussing how it will fit into the festival.

Boston College have been thinking about a poetic passage from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (‘I know a bank where the wild thyme blows…’) and designing an interactive installation that would have a canopy of flowers, fairies and snakes (as described in the poem) for audiences to walk through and explore on the day. We even practiced making some origami flowers, and discussed adding lines from the passage to the paper – what a magical world for the audience to enter! But beware, it’s not all as sweet and playful as you might first think… these fairies have a sinister side…..!!

Over at Thomas Middlecott Academy, we’ve been exploring different journeys that Shakespeare’s characters go on, both literal (like Viola in Twelfth Night – what good Shakespeare play doesn’t begin with a shipwreck?!) and emotional (like Hamlet or Ophelia from Hamlet). We have learnt a song that can be adapted to different adventures, of the mind and in their lives, and have begun to think about how we can put this into the festival. Perhaps we could combine it with those amazing freeze-frames they’ve been working on? They’ve created a fantastic Hamlet tableaux, where he’s contemplating all the choices, possibilities and directions he could go in. Lots of incredible facial expressions and body language – something to look out for on the 6th of April in Boston next year!

On top of all this, our teams have both had trips to London to see where Shakespeare worked and wrote his plays, made some Shakespeare-inspired shadow puppets and have written a budget that passed the peer-review with full approval and flying colours!
As the year is drawing to a close, we’re blown away by how much the young people have achieved so far – and how much we still have left to do! It’s going to be a real push to try and fit in as many of these amazing ideas as possible!
We’ve also been working on our plans for a couple of Boston community workshops at Blackfriars theatre on the 3rd and 4th of January. There will be craft, games and activities for all the family.