Shakespeare for Schools Festival 2015: Taming of the Shrew
It all began in May 2015, when Freya Smith (student director) and 23 eager students achieved the parts they were to play in Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’. They were to act in a play that entailed misconstrued identity, impertinence, love, jealousy and laugher.
The scene was set in a modernised American High School where Goths and Geeks battled for superiority. This meant the students not only had to learn and perform the difficult Shakespeare language but also a consistent American accent, no mean feat!
The plot involves two of ‘Baptista’s’ daughters, ‘Bianca’ who is virtuous and mild and ‘Katerina’ who is curst with a scolding tongue! Our ‘Baptista’ was split into a hilarious husband and wife comedy duo who decide that suitors cannot marry ‘Bianca’ until ‘Katerina’ has been wed. A plan is therefore devised between ‘Bianca’s’ suitors to find a husband for ‘Katerina’ … enter ‘Petruchio’! After some witty word play ‘Petruchio’ marries ‘Katerina’ and is seen to tame her! ‘Bianca’ falls in love with one of the suitors, ‘Lucentio’ and marries him!
One of the highlights of this rehearsal period was performing at the Gordon’s Summer Arts Evening; where an audience got a glimpse of the characters, costume and setting. This was a fabulous evening and allowed our students to get a taste of what it would be like to perform their Shakespearian piece in front of a live audience.
When the new school year began and rehearsals resumed and two technicians joined Freya’s student team. They were Jess Brimfield on music and Liana Parry on lighting. The play would not have been such a success without this hardworking and valued team!
The students worked tirelessly for over four months to produce a spectacular piece which they performed at South Hill Park Theatre on the 11th November 2015. The adrenaline was pumping, the nerves were shaking and in the end the audience was left laughing. The students’ hard work had paid off.
It was a fabulous evening and thank you to all the cast for all their hard work!