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Once upon a time...
An evening of story telling from the Bishop Ramsey Drama Department.
Bishop Ramsey Drama Department produced an evening of story telling in December. The evening incorporated a variety of fairy tales and excerpts from Shakespeare with over 50 students from all years taking part. The production was staged ‘in the round’ with the audience on all sides of the auditorium, sometimes being part of the action.
Act 1 belonged to Shakespeare. Year 13 Drama and Theatre students opened the evening with Women in Shakespeare, an examination of some of the Bard’s most interesting female characters. The seven A Level students gave their interpretation of scenes from three plays concentrating on fiery Kate from ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, the terrifying Tamora from ‘Titus Andronicus’ and the more gentle, yet determined young Juliet who disobeys her father for her love of Romeo. Each scene was introduced with a short piece about the play and character and the actors used simple props and costumes to convey the individuals within the scenes featuring three very different women.
In contrast, the Year 10 Shakespeare Club then performed their version of Shakespeare’s most loved comedy tale ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which they recently performed at the Shaw Theatre in London as part of the ‘Shakespeare Schools Festival’. This tale of madness, mayhem, fairies, donkeys and lovers lost in the woods of Athens had something for everyone.
The second Act began with the younger students’ interpretations of fairy tales. In Drama Club the students have leant about the original tales told by ‘folk’ that were passed down over generations by re-enacting them physically and becoming aware of their imagery. Many students have also worked with their stories being narrated in a European language. The interpretations in this particular performance incorporated this and although sometimes the story telling was in a European language it proved how re-enacting the tale made it easy to understand. Many tales were familiar to the audience from childhood including ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Red Riding Hood’, ‘Snow White’ and ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ as well as lesser known tales. For many of the younger students this was their first production at the school in front of an audience and it was clear, despite some nerves, that they enjoyed it and will undoubtedly be seen in many more Drama productions. Congratulations also to the student leaders who helped to direct the fairy stories working with the younger students.
The evening ended with a return to Shakespeare and the role of women. Year 12 Drama and Theatre Studies students performed in scenes from ‘The Merry Wives Of Windsor’. This is possibly a lesser known play for many but involves several famous Shakespearean characters including Mistress Quickley and Falstaff. The audience enjoyed the clever comedy of the play and the bright costumes that the students wore for their interpretation and it was a fun, bright way to end the evening.
Congratulations to everyone involved and to Mrs Simmons, Miss Dell, Mr Foote, Mrs Oldfield and Miss Neal for their involvement.