色播五月

Lower Sixth Swan Up to the RSC

Lower Sixth Swan Up to the RSC

On Tuesday 3 October, Lower Sixth drama pupils took to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see the hometown of William Shakespeare. Starting with a visit to the RSC鈥檚 exhibition, 鈥楾he Play鈥檚 the Thing鈥, the group had a great time getting hands-on with the interactive elements. From trying on elements of costume, to using a pulley to fly The Tempest鈥檚 Ariel across the stage, and even performing the role of Hamlet opposite a professional actor, they did it all.

Next was a visit to Shakespeare鈥檚 New Place, the site where he built his family home at the height of his success. Despite the building no longer existing (a later owner was fed up with strangers knocking on the door wanting to see where Shakespeare lived!) we were able to explore the gardens and beautiful statues that had been erected in honour of some of his greatest works. A special treat came when we were able to see one of Shakespeare鈥檚 first folios- a rare sight!

The sightseeing continued with a fantastic backstage tour of the RSC鈥檚 Swan Theatre and costume workshops. We were lucky enough to get 鈥榖ehind the curtain鈥 and see a touring production鈥檚 set up ahead of their performance that evening. There were immaculately organised props tables, specially designated changing areas, and the odd wig or two. It was a fascinating insight into how a professional theatre operates daily. We were then escorted to the RSC鈥檚 dedicated costume building and learned that all RSC productions have their costumes made in house, with each actor having their own customary outfits. As well as the 鈥榮tandard鈥 workspaces, we also saw the dedicated workshops of milliners, armourers and material dyers, and all left feeling in awe of the amount of work that goes in to dressing a production.

To end the day, we enjoyed a startling and provocative production of Macbeth, set in a future where people have returned to a more primitive state and the Macbeths鈥 lust for power is set amongst a ruinous landscape. The whole production had an ominous, eerie quality which left everyone feeling slightly uneasy, but also impressed by the sheer level of energy and dedication shown by all the actors.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip which gave real insight into how a Shakespeare production comes to life, and the pupils left ready and enthused to begin their study of King Lear.

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