During Book Week the Young Shakespeare Company joined the school for a hugely successful series of inspiring workshops specially designed for visually impaired students.
Four classes are studying The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth in preparation for their Bronze and Silver Drama Arts Awards. The Arts Awards have been introduced this year at Linden Lodge to promote and evidence artistic achievement throughout the school. Many of the students who began work on the awards this year will also go on to study the Drama GCSE that is being introduced this Summer Term. The Shakespeare workshops were key in providing insight into the plays and allowing the students to take part in an acting workshop over lockdown which would permit them to achieve the Arts Awards. The workshops also supported the production of the radio plays that the students are preparing for the Arts Awards.
Actor and producer Andrew led the workshops and the students enjoyed every moment. Andrew said he was astounded by the knowledge the students had of the plays and their love of Shakespeare. His final comment after the workshops was, “What an amazing bunch! That was so fun! Not gonna lie - by far the favourite workshops I've ever done!”
The students and staff could not contain their enthusiasm for the event and the comments said it all:
“It was the best in the world! The sound effects made it so realistic. I felt like I was in Scotland with the castles and the horses. The battlefields had a gruesome atmosphere and Macbeth got what he deserved! - Macbeth Workshop (Student)
“I like how Andrew described every detail. He used a good pace and didn’t rush like some people do. He had good enthusiasm. I liked the part where Macduff takes revenge against Macbeth” – Macbeth Workshop (Student)
“I was literally jumping for joy” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream Workshop (Student)
“It was amazing!” – The Tempest Workshop (Student)
“I never believed that anything like this was possible.” (Teaching assistant)
“It was an incredible experience and I can’t believe that this happened during lockdown. The students accessed this from school and from home. Their faces were shining.” (Teaching assistant)
The classes decided to thank Andrew and the YSC in their own special way, with poems. Minerva 2, fittingly, decided to write one in Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter.
A Thank You to Andrew and the YSC
By Minerva 2
In pentameter we now write to you.
We enjoyed just everything that you do.
You inspired us with your brilliant workshop.
We’ve never had a better time at school.
You are certainly the actor who’s most cool.
Your Shakespeare – fascinating, funny too.
We loved your performance – wonderful stuff!
We all could never really get enough.
We’re all so keen to see you once again.
After this, Shakespeare is just not the same.
To the YSC and Andrew
By Minerva 3
Thank you for the great adventure, To Shakespeare’s script we did enter, We journeyed back to ancient Athens, And heard of a tale of lovers passions, Through a magical forest we were taken, And from our summer’s dream we did awaken.
Dearest Andy, we’d like to thank you, We really appreciate all you do, Your interpretations of Puck and Bottom, Will certainly not be soon forgotten, Thank you a for perfect afternoon, We hope to see you again very soon.
A Poem for Young Shakespeare Co and Andrew!
By Minerva 1
Extraordinary, amazing, spectacular and silly.
Fantastic, you literally made me jump for joy!
Tremendous, fabulous, cool, awesome.
You made me travel to the haunted forest.
Enchanting, mysterious, scary and mesmerizing.
You brought the characters onto my sofa.
Transforming, hypnotic, marvellous, enhancing.
I could hear the magic all around me.
The students in Minerva 3 couldn’t wait to write about the event and produced this article for the newsletter.
“This Wednesday, Minerva 3 participated in a workshop from the young Shakespeare Company. Other classes (Minerva 1, Minerva 2 and Sixth form 2) took part as well at different times. The workshop was run by an actor called Andy, and it took place over zoom. ‘Andy’s delivery was excellent’ says Josh B ‘I was wondering how it would work over zoom, with some of us in school and some of us at home, but it worked really well’. Grace agreed stating that she ‘really liked the whole thing’.
Andy gave us lots of new ideas focusing on The Bard’s play. ‘Andy was very funny, he made lots of funny jokes’ says Fillip, ‘I enjoyed the music, I enjoyed the voices of the characters’. ‘Doing the plays in workshop was very fun, I was laughing a lot’ said Amy. Not only was the work shop very fun, and our host ‘very funny’, but the whole class felt like they learnt a lot; Amy says ‘I liked hearing the play in new way’, and Josh and Luke agreed; ‘I was nice having the play from a completely new viewpoint, which I had not considered’.
“Our input felt very valued, he took our ideas on board’ said Luke, and Amy confirmed ‘he answered my questions and listened to what I liked in the play, I liked when we talked about the forest’.
‘One of the best afternoons I’ve ever had’ says Josh ‘I would strongly recommend booking a workshop with the Young Shakespeare Company, everything was really good, it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon’