The Tempest at RSC Stratford
Children from Chestnut and Oak Classes had an early start to catch a 7:15am coach to Stratford for the Royal Shakespeare Company's annual Primary Open Day. In the morning we were treated to a behind the scenes look with the technicians at some of the amazing digital effects that feature in this groundbreaking production of The Tempest. Following that we watched a director's masterclass in rehearsal techniques with some of the understudies from the Company. The morning ended with our own drama workshop led by associate director, Eileen Gonzales. After a relaxed lunch we then enjoyed the matinee performance of Shakespeare's last play with Simon Russell Beale in the lead role as Prospero. It was fascinating to see how the elements we had explored in the morning, came together in the performance. Due to ticket allocation we were fairly spread out so it was lovely to be approached afterwards by an elderly lady who had sat amongst a group of our pupils, saying it had been an absolute pleasure to share the occasion with them and how well-informed they were about the play and the characters! Well done, children. Many thanks to the staff and helpers on this very long but rewarding day, and thank you to the PTA who subsidised the travel costs.
Incidentally, following a recent telephone call, we have been asked by the RSC Education Dept to establish and lead an associate schools network in Shropshire, a real compliment to the work we have done in introducing children to Shakespeare over the past eight years.