9th February 2017
Writing: Matthew Human (Year 9)
Editing: Tom Burke (Year 10)
On Wednesday, all the boys in Year 9 received the opportunity to watch and participate in an interactive performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Young Shakespeare Company. Not only did this deepen our knowledge of potentially the most famous love story of all time, but also helped us to be able to perform it ourselves more effectively. The company achieved this by focusing on certain scenes of the play and numerous rehearsal methods, which they performed in front of us, asking for advice as they went along. They even included some of the boys in the acting, and used authentic Shakespearean language throughout. It was an engaging, humorous, modernised workshop, yet still implementing the key themes of Shakespeare’s legendary writing.
The company started off by performing a series of over-the-top movements and whispering Shakespearean metaphors that looked like some abstract gibberish, and I think it was safe to say that we all thought we were in for a disastrous 100 minutes. However they then revealed that this wasn’t proper Shakespeare, and that the main essence of it was to show that there can be many different interpretations of it. We then began looking at the scene where Romeo first meets Juliet, and suggested the different personality traits that the characters might have, judging by our first impressions of them, which the company took into perspective and performed. After that they performed the famous balcony scene, including a huge variety of different genres throughout, ranging from the film Frozen to Eastenders, and even 'gangster style'.
They then showed us a swiftly fast-forwarded section of the play up to the scene where Tybalt, an enemy of Romeo, participates in a fight against him and his best friend Mercutio, which results in them both perishing and Romeo being banished from Verona, the location of the story. However they performed it in a setting we could all relate to - a detention in a classroom. Finally, they completed the play and allowed us to ask questions about the story itself and how to perform it better. A big thank you goes out to the English Team, who invited the company to the school.