On the 5th February, we were delighted to welcome the Young Shakespeare Company to perform ‘Macbeth’ to the LVIth and UVIth. The hour long abridged performance was preceded by a workshop, in which the four actors, Harry, Charlie, Louise and Joe, explained how they made performance decisions during rehearsals, based on the clues in Shakespeare’s text. The girls were asked to offer suggestions as to how certain scenes should be performed and were encouraged to consider the motives of the characters during key scenes throughout the play. This helped the girls to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of Shakespeare’s text whilst also offering them an insight into the rehearsal process itself. The actors went on to explain to us how stage fighting works, how long it takes to rehearse a fight scene, and how best to try to learn lines.
The performance itself was fast paced, entertaining and compelling and the girls had a very memorable morning. The costumes were impressive and were much coveted by the girls, one of whom stole the armour from Joe’s back during the Q and A session. Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly for a play which revolves around murder, assassinations and battle, the fake blood was realistic and generously daubed!
Shakespeare’s plays can be daunting for many students but to see such a carefully rehearsed performance in Hanford’s era-appropriate dining hall was a really wonderful opportunity and we look forward to seeing the YSC back at Hanford next year.