On Thursday 22nd June, Lower 4 had the exciting opportunity to take part in a Globe Theatre workshop based on Shakespeare's ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’
To start the workshop, we first of all discussed as a group, what the Globe Theatre was and how it was used in Shakespeare’s time to house large audiences so they could watch various plays. After the original theatre burnt down in 1613 (and the rebuilt version after that was closed down as well), we were also told that a modern replica of the Globe Theatre was a built in 1997, and learned that it still shows many of Shakespeare’s most famous plays today.
Discussion of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ followed and we worked in groups to talk about the genres, characters, setting and themes of the play, based on what we had already learnt from studying it in class. After deciding that it definitely had a very fantasy based genre with themes of romance and friendship as well, we played a warm-up exercise that helped us with our pronunciation and articulation of the words in the script (as the vocabulary used in Shakespeare's day is very different from our own!) The next game, also helped us get a feel for the play as we had to pretend to love one person and hate another: with the person whom we loved, our job was to get as close to them as possible without them noticing, (much like how the character of Helena in the play is obsessively in love with another character called Demetrius) and with the person whom we pretended to hate, our job was to try and stay as far away from them as possible.
Afterwards, we talked about pronouns and punctuation and how we can use them to help us act parts out in a play: walking around with scripts in hand from one of the scenes in the play, we had to change direction whenever there was a punctuation mark such as a comma, or exclamation mark. We then repeated the exercise, this time standing still and whenever there was a pronoun (they, we, I, he…) we had to make an action that acknowledged them (such as pointing at them), which helped add emphasis to the script.
One of the last exercises we did before we got into partners and started to act out a scene, was flicking the page whenever we found a particularly strong and emphasised moment in the text. This helped us to stress certain words and also help highlight them to the audience.
Lastly, to finish the workshop, we got into partners and were able to act out the fight scene between Helena and Hermia in the play, being able to use all the skills we had just learnt. This also meant that we were able to put together various entertaining actions for phrases in the script such as “you counterfeit, you puppet, you!” We then had the chance to perform our different versions of the scene to one another and pick up useful tips.
It was definitely a very fun and unforgettable experience and the workshop has helped us to take away many tips for our acting in drama and have a better understanding of the language and play to help us in our future English work.
Thanks go to Mrs Wakeling for organizing the workshop for the girls.
Written by Millie Crabtree-Parker L4