Shakespeare School Festival
Seven weeks of rehearsals started immediately on our return to school in September 2014 for the Shakespeare Schools Festival ‘Tempest’ performance. Meeting twice weekly the Year 8 pupils explored new ways of interpreting the text. Caliban was multi-role played by 4 actors; their exploration of exaggerated movement and choral speech allowed the character to have a haunting feel. With hair that smoked against the black set they left a scent that could be followed. The chorus multi-role played throughout; from fairies to sailors they captured the ever changing environments of the play. Their opening scene used ensemble movement to visually capture the sinking of the ship.
Not only did pupils work tirelessly on the piece they were a credit to the school when they attended an acting and technical workshop at the Midlands Arts Centre where they worked alongside a group of young adults from a local Special School.
The evening performance was played to a full house of 250 on the evening of 6th November. The confidence and clarity from all students truly showcased the array of talent Arden has to offer.
On 6 November, the Gifted and Talented Drama group performed ‘The Tempest’ at the Mac Theatre in Edgbaston. On the night, two other schools also performed; Calthorpe School and Sports College (Much Ado About Nothing) with whom we rehearsed a scene and St Herbert’s Catholic Primary School (Romeo and Juliet). The Tempest is set on a remote island where Prospero (James Corr), the rightful Due of Milan plots to restore his daughter Miranda (Frankie Smith) to a better life by conjuring up a dreadful storm with the help of his eager spirit Arial (Amy Boulton). He does this to lure his usurping brother Antonio (Jessica Gardiner) and the complicit King Alonso of Naples (Tilly Davison) to the island. However, Miranda falls in love with the Prince of Naples (Thomas Shingleton).
James Corr – I played the leading role of Prospero. It was extremely hard to learn all the lines and stage directions. However, it was a great experience which helped me improve my drama skills. When we got on stage, I was really nervous but as it was so bright I couldn’t see anything so I just pretended we were rehearsing back at school and that really helped. It was interesting watching the other schools perform especially the primary school pupils who worked really hard to make the audience understand the bond between the two main characters – they included a dance routing to ‘All of Me’ (which made many of the girls in our group cry!) Everyone did brilliantly and I wish I could do it all over again just to enjoy the feeling of relief that came over me when we came off stage…it really was a brilliant experience.
Georgia Fair – the 21 students involved had spent months in the Drama Studio auditioning and rehearsing. Some of us had the difficult task of learning many lines while others had multiple roles (quick costume changes) and different routines. I was a Nymph which meant I had several quick changes and had to keep checking for my cues – I was also busy backstage helping other people change and rehearse lines! We all started out nervously but ended feeling exhilarated and happy that we had done our best. I really enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet performance (although it made me cry). Overall I think the evening was a complete and utter success.
Prospero: James Corr
Miranda: Frankie Smith
Ferdinand: Thomas Shingleton
Arial: Amy Boulton
Alonso: Tilly Davison
Antonio: Jess Gardiner
Sebastian: Eleanor Alberici
Gonzalo: Emma Cole
Caliban: Phoebe Price/Harriet Jones/Zoe Bull/Ashleigh Lawrence
Francisco: Will Boles
Stephano: Paige Davis
Trinculo: Ruby Kibble
Boatswain: Lucy Ford
Iris & Sailor: Hannah Jane Moorhead
Nymph & Sailor: Georgia Fair/Sarah Fleetwood Walker/Kiara Henry/Jemima Cray
Technicians: Matt Morgan/Callum Mitchell
Director: Lydia Morris/Mrs Warrender