This autumn, Year 8 studied the first Shakespearean play of their APS career: the ever-gory, truly terrifying Macbeth (aka ‘The Scottish Play’ to any superstitious thespians reading!) More horrifying than the ruthless Lady Macbeth, was the challenge the English Department set the whole year group in their very first lesson. With next to no knowledge of the play, every single student was made to choose a speech, which they were then given 2 weeks to comprehend, memorise and rehearse, ready to perform in a cross-year competition which (after class heats and a gruelling semi-final) had its glorious grand final on the 11th of October 2018.
This was the second annual Performing Shakespeare Final held at APS and it was an inspiring and humbling experience for all teachers, parents/carers and supportive friends who attended, as the selected students performed gripping interpretations of their chosen Macbeth speeches. Five incredibly brave students (Lucas, Kezia, Sameer, Poppy and Lucie W) even learnt a second speech with only one week’s notice, from a selection of Shakespeare child characters, compiled by guest judge (‘Skins’ writer and Shakespeare ‘buff’) Holly Hughes. Holly was joined by Ms Vasey and Ms Jobling to judge this very close competition and after MUCH deliberation agreed on the following awards:
Poppy Burnham for: Boy from ‘Henry V’, Act 3 Scene 2 (‘As young as I am…’)
Elsie Hunter-Rawlings for: Macbeth, from ‘Macbeth’, Act 2 Scene 1 (‘Is this a dagger…’)
Kezia for: Arthur from ‘King John’, Act 4, Scene 1 (‘have you the heart?’)
Lucas for: Bottom from Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 4 Scene 1 (‘When my cue comes…’)
Lucie for: Macbeth, from ‘Macbeth’, Act 2 Scene 1 (‘Is this a dagger…’)
Our other (very worthy!) finalists were: James, Leo, Jodie, Sameer and Freddy.
The winners will be going through to the regional finals of this national competition in the Spring – so we have our fingers crossed for an APS national champion!
As if that wasn’t enough Shakespeare for one year group, 30 lucky year 8 students also won a lottery to attend the RSC’s critically acclaimed production of Macbeth at the Barbican, starring Dr Who’s Christopher Eccleston.
What a term - Shakespeare would be proud!