We had a house full of very enthusiastic actors this afternoon when the Group of Four met for the second week of our Shakespeare unit. Once again we began with insults, most delivered with some acerbity but all received with much laughter. I guess there is nothing quite like having your mother encourage you to insult your family and friends in public. Next we spent some time talking about sonnets and looking at both the prologue of Romeo and Juliet and Romeo’s description of Juliet in Act I, Scene V. As the actors were getting quite impatient for their rehearsal time we began but did not finish a hockey sonnet!
The children were allocated a role and given a cropped scene to learn four days ago. Most of the girls had arrived with costumes, much to the surprise of the family of all boys. The boys, however, did come with very impressive swords for their fight scene. All had come well prepared, with their lines memorised. The performance opened with L12 delivering the prologue and then the first of our Juliets for the afternoon gave us a soliloquy from the balcony scene. L12 was the next Juliet partnered with a fine Nurse for Act II,Scene V. B6 was delighted to be Benvolio in a fight scene between the Montagues and Capulets. Lord and Lady Capulet’s argument with their daughter was acted with great emotion and finally we saw A10 as Juliet visiting the Friar and receiving the potion which would give her the appearance of death.
Once again we saw the children use their own initiative to make this unit a success. This was the first taste of Shakespeare for some of them and has left them wanting more.