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In November of 2017, a group of Year 7-9 students performed at the Shakespeare school’s festival at Hull’s university in the Gulbenkian theatre. We performed an abridged version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
We auditioned as soon as we came back in September and we got to rehearse for a couple of months before, which meant that we put hours of hard work into creating this play.
At one point in the run up to the show, we went for a day’s workshop at Hull University, which was run by professional actors. During the course of that day, we learnt lots of things about Shakespeare and how we can present ourselves more confidently when performing. For example, we learnt to emphasise the important words with specific hand gestures to help communicate the story to the audience, breaking through the language barrier.
After this great day at the university we had only a couple of weeks to perfect our performance. Going
to the workshop helped build our confidence and we improved our piece even more by thinking about how we could perform to an audience on three sides, as the Gulbenkian theatre is a Thrust stage.
On Friday the 8th of June students took part in a production of Enda Welsh’s critically acclaimed play Chatroom. Chatroom is a play about manipulation, cyberbullying and adolescent insecurity. The play’s action takes place in a staged representation of the virtual space of an internet chatroom. A group of bored and restless teenagers – William (Fergus Murphy), Jack (Joe Webster), Eva (Eva Gaynor-Smith), Emily (Georgina Railton) and Laura (Tiggy Litten) – spend their time deconstructing children’s literature and the messages
in modern pop music. But when a new member, Jim (Oliver Hatfield), joins to share his depression and thoughts of suicide, the conversation takes a dark turn. The group is torn between those who want to help and those who see this as a chance to create a martyr for the teenage population.
As A-level drama students, we fancied the challenge of putting on a play ourselves. We decided to put on Chatroom as it offered a solid role for each of us. The play was challenging, but we worked hard in between our academic work and other drama projects to
Two other schools also performed and we
got to share the stage with other students, who were presenting other Shakespeare plays. This meant that we got to experience lots of Shakespeare
in one night! We were chosen to open the evening performance. Everyone in the cast was nervous to go first, but the performance went really well, and everyone had a blast. The audience particularly liked the comedy of my character, Sir Toby, and William Watson’s role, Sir Andrew; as we were a pair of drunken fools!
After we had performed, we got to sit and watch the other two schools’ plays. After the night was over, all of us agreed that it was really worth putting in the effort and rehearsing for the last three months. Participating in drama helps build my confidence, as without it I would not be able to feel capable of trying new things and putting myself forward for other activities. Most importantly, it is also great fun!
Charlie Sturdy, Year 9 I 147
     interpret the script together. I directed the piece and Joe Webster from Year 10 stepped in to play the final character. It was also a great way of us bonding even more as a class, which I felt really helped us in drama lessons, as working effectively together, trusting each other and using time effectively is crucial to succeed. We enjoyed the experience so much that we have decided to explore the text as part of our second practical component for A level.
Harvey Jowsey, Year 12

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