Last Tuesday evening saw a cast of 20 Year 10 Drama students perform their production of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF) at the Hall for Cornwall. The evening was a huge success and Richard Lander’s performance received superb acclaim from staff, pupils and members of the public supporting all four schools performing on the night.
The SSF objective is to teach children and young people about difficult Shakespearean texts and themes by engaging them in workshops and providing professional training, this year delivered by the Central School of Speech and Drama, and then, ultimately, providing a platform to showcase some of the most promising new thespian talent, which we here at Richard Lander certainly have.
In addition to the performance students two technical students were also recruited in order to ‘call the show’ and operate the sound and lighting from the official tech desk at the theatre. These students worked closely with the teacher-director to plan the lighting states and sound cues and learn how to put together a technical ‘book’ that is used in professional theatres to cue a show.
After only just over a month of rehearsals the cast devised a very professional and visually engaging piece of theatre. The ensemble work was particularly strong and the group completely embodied their roles and energetically brought to life the themes, so much so that you could be forgiven for completely forgetting that you were listening to a language from hundreds of years ago.
Our production combined drama, dance and music in order to tell the story of Petruchio and ‘his’ Katherine - the Shrew. The group gained a very solid grasp of the themes within the play and through stylised theatre techniques, as well as naturalistic character portrayals, we were able to create a very visual and slick portrayal of one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays for modern audiences.
Huge congratulations to the cast and technical crew. You were a real credit to the school!
Miss A Scholes - Drama Teacher