As the curtain falls on our Macbeth performance I think now is the perfect time to reflect on the whole experience. It has been an absolute pleasure to see the children grow in confidence and show a real passion for one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays. They have allowed themselves to become immersed in Shakespeare and have demonstrated a real desire to learn more about the man himself and his universal plays.
The experience has allowed the children the opportunity to fully engage with a play many would deem too complex for children of their age, understand the reasons for characters dispositions and ultimately enable them to work like professional actors. That’s not say it has all been smooth sailing with several setbacks along the way. However, through perseverance, dedication and creativity they have demonstrated a tenacious passion for drama.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and staff alike for whom none of this would have been possible from helping them children learn their lines, supporting backstage and being flexible to accommodate our rehearsal schedule.
The children have undoubtedly produced a piece of work that stood up against their older peers and for that they should be truly proud.
During our writing that focused on the banquet scene we discussed the feelings of some of the characters involved. We used a role on the wall to describe the way that Lady Macbeth felt on the inside and the perceptions the other characters had of her on the outside. We then wrote a diary entry from the perspective of Lady Macbeth. Areena wrote powerful entry that really encapsulated the anger of Lady Macbeth toward the bizarre actions of her husband.
We looked at the part in the play where the witches reappear to offer further predictions to the now unhinged Macbeth. We thought about writing from the perspective of a crow flying above the scene. We discussed the need to use prepositions in our writing to demonstrate the position of each character. Chloe produced a brilliant piece that included some high level word choices.
We were lucky to be invited to the Carriageworks theatre to firstly look at the stage we will be performing on in a matter of weeks. However, the main purpose of the trip was to improve a scene that we have been working on in class. We chose to focus on scene 9 in which the witches return to offer Macbeth further prophesies. During the course of the afternoon, we worked on our movements which really helped the progression and intensity of the scene.
During our rehearsals for the first scene of Macbeth we looked closely at the witches. Firstly, we used art to help illustrate the witches’ grotesque appearance and then read different writer’s depiction of the witches to clarify new words that we could use in our own writing. This helped us to produce some excellent descriptions that allowed the characters to come to life. Niamh produced an excellent piece of work that really demonstrated the witches horrifying appearance.
During our initial introduction to Macbeth we learnt that before the play begins Macbeth and Banquo had been defending Scotland from the vicious attack of the Norwegian army. We then imagined that we were Macbeth or Banquo waiting to go into battle upon the barren heath. Kian produced a magnificent description of the battle that really captured the mood and detailed the characters feelings.
Over the last two weeks, 5RA have been incredibly busy rehearsing for our performance of Macbeth. We have used drama and art to inform and inspire our creative writing from writing descriptions of the grotesque witches to envisioning ourselves as Macbeth upon the barren heath.