November 12 2015
Performance at Leatherhead Theatre helps develop life skills
Twenty three girls prep girls have experienced the thrill of appearing on the stage in front of a several-hundred strong audience. Taking part in the ground-breaking Shakespeare in Schools abridged performance of Twelfth Night at Leatherhead Theatre last Saturday, this was the first time Bramley School had participated in the project. And there was no shortage of support from family and friends, with 90 tickets sold to Bramley pupils’ families alone!
Aged from eight to eleven, the Bramley girls were the youngest group taking part in the performance – other participants were from local Senior schools. The school’s Head of English received training from professional directors and the girls worked with professional actors in preparation for the show. In particular they worked on ensemble acting and learning how to perform physically on stage. They also received guidance on how to warm up their voice and project as well as think about how it’s not just the script that tells the story but a performer’s body, surroundings and reactions too.
As Head of English at Bramley School, Angela Dziedziela, explained, the experience should be formative for the young girls. “The Shakespeare in Schools Festival is absolutely fantastic in giving young people the ability to understand the beautiful writing of Shakespeare, whilst also getting the chance to be part of a brilliant production in front of a paying audience. Each girl embraced this opportunity whole-heartedly, making the time out of school hours to learn their lines and rehearse.
“They were hugely excited by the experience and I am sure will be looking for the next opportunity to take to the stage as soon as possible.”
As Philip Pullman, author of the Amber Spyglass trilogy said, the Shakespeare in Schools Festival is a tremendous opportunity for young people. “Every child in every school ought to have the chance to experience this magical process. To bring the enchantment of Shakespeare to thousands of children – there’s no more magical process in the whole of education.”
“The goal at Bramley School is to not only focus on developing the academic achievements of our pupils, but help them identify their special interests to give them the best possible start in life” added Paula Burgess, Headmistress. “The twenty three girls who took part in this event have been given a real taste of performing on the stage – and learning the words of Shakespeare – the memories of which I am sure will stay with them for years.”