Woodside shine at Shakespeare Festival

CHILDREN at Woodside Academy have been working hard on their own version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to perform at the Thameside Theatre as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival.

This is the second year Woodside has participated. Last year two classes performed Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. This year, as there was only space for one play from the school Woodside drama specialist and year 6 teacher Benjamin Sharp ran a Shakespeare drama club with children from year 5 and 6 to put on Twelfth Night or What Your Will, originally performed to end the Christmas season in 1602. Although they had a partly adapted text children coped extremely well with the real Shakespearean language, with clear benefits for their own writing. Woodside Principal Edward Caines said

“This was an amazing opportunity for children to perform some of the greatest lines in English literature in a professional theatre with lighting, sound and a paying audience.”

Four Thurrock Schools took part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival this year: Little Thurrock with Macbeth, Palmer’s College with Much Ado About Nothing, Gable Hall with The Taming of the Shrew and Woodside with Twelfth Night. Shakespeare Schools Festival is the UK’s largest youth drama festival, involving over 1000 schools and 150 professional theatres.

Benjamin Sharp said

‘Children at Woodside regularly take part and embrace in activities based around literary classics and particularly enjoy working with Shakespeare. The children are proof that Shakespeare is accessible to all. How they connect with his language, themes and motives is evidence that the Bard’s works are still relevant to young people today as they were over 400 years ago.’

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