Last week armed with sun cream and sun hats, Year 6 got to work on producing their annual Shakespeare showcase.
This year the children were challenged with two plays. The first a modern version of The Merchant of Venice, where The Rialto became Italy’s finest skate park and the second a classically abridged retelling of The Tempest, set amongst the branches of a great old tree and the natural undulations of the back fields.
With baited breath, we witnessed how Antonio (Venice’s top skater) almost lost, not only his championship deal and sponsorship, but also his life to rival skater Shylock! We smiled as Bassanio found true love with Portia, a ‘rich chic’ from Belmont and we kept our fingers crossed for Jessica and Lorenzo, who found love despite being from different faiths.
Our second play saw two powerful Prosperos, with the help of his Ariels, seek revenge on those who had usurped him and his daughter years before. Caliban tried to seek his own revenge on his master but unknowingly aligned himself with three drunken fools!
Our Year 6 confidently and convincingly bought these wonderful characters to life. Every member of the cast demonstrated a clear understanding of their character, their motivations and objectives as well as their relationships with one another. It was a tremendous feat where everyone stepped out of his or her comfort zone together to put on the best show possible.
In both English lessons, rehearsals and in the final production the Year 6 pupils have made engaging and insightful connections between the fiction on the stage and the modern world.