10th November 2015
BG pupils were honoured to take part in this year’s Shakespeare Schools’ Festival, performing Macbeth at the Warwick Arts Centre on Wednesday 4 November. The final performance was a triumph and we are incredibly proud of all the pupils and staff involved.
With the performance such a short time from the beginning of the school year, work started in the Summer term. Mrs Victoria Penrose, Director of the production, delivered a fun and energetic casting workshop on 7 June, giving the pupils the summer holidays to learn lines and begin to build characters. This proactive approach continued with “Macbeth boot camp” on 28 August, enhanced by birthday cake for the Director!
Pupils continued rehearsing in Monday Activities slots, with some extra rehearsals towards the end of the second quarter, a workshop day at the Warwick Arts Centre, and a dress rehearsal on Sunday 1 November. Excitement really built during the technical rehearsal on the day of the performance, as the music, lighting and sound were seen and heard in full effect.
Four schools performed in the evening, and after enjoying a humorous Romeo and Juliet, a gripping Othello and a brief interval, BG took to the stage! Right from the start, with haunting witch music composed by Mr Mark Penrose, Director of Music, the horror of the story was fully realised. Commencing with some terrifying witches, the perfect accompaniment to chilling performances from Lucas Marshall and Alice Jackson as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The ensemble cast did an outstanding job of supporting the bigger roles, acting and moving with purpose at all times. The subtle lighting perfectly evoked the macabre atmosphere, and live musical cues further enhanced the scenes. It was a truly inspiring production to watch; pupils clearly grew through the process of rehearsal and delivered a performance of which BG can be properly proud.
After such perfect horror, the audience was lucky to be treated to a most entertaining performance of Much Ado About Nothing from Myton School, ending the evening with lots of laughter and an oddly appropriate 80s soundtrack.
Thank you to the supportive BG audience, including many staff, for making the trek to the Warwick Arts Centre – the many positive comments after the performance recognised both the huge effort to create a production in such a short time and the undoubtedly outstanding results of that effort. The production could not have been so successful without the help of Mrs Freya Ostiatynski (Producer and Designer), Mrs Eleanor Southall (Acting Coach), Mr Harry Scholes (Assistant Director and Stage Manager), Miss Georgina Colbourne (Assistant Stage Manager) and Mr Mark Penrose (Composer and Sound Editor). Congratulations to Mrs Penrose and her team on a wonderful first production at BG. We look forward to many more in the future.