Girls shine to bring Shakespeare play to life

Thu, 30 Nov 2017

Pupils at Monmouth School for Girls worked together to produce a first-class stage performance of Macbeth at The Riverfront in Newport.

Taking part in 17th annual Shakespeare Schools Festival, the cast from Years 7 to 11 demonstrated the inclusive message of the project.

Head of Drama Ms Knight said the older girls mentored the younger actors as they brought one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays to life.

Year 9 pupil Alexandra played Macbeth, while Year 11 student Amelia took on the part of Lady Macbeth.

Year 10 pupil Gina, who played Macduff, said the girls felt like stars after learning from the professionals and enjoying the ‘extraordinary experience’ of performing at a professional venue.

“I learned so many acting tricks and hacks that I would not have known about and the staff made it easy for us to absorb the information,” said Gina.

“It was a positive thing to be involved in the Shakespeare Schools Festival because the staff were very friendly and made us feel at home when they were helping with our pieces.”

Gina added: “The dressing rooms were nice and spacious and everyone felt like a star.

“The whole building had an aura that pulled people in. It was an extraordinary experience.”

The festival, which is held at other venues across the country, is the Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s annual flagship project.

In October, the Monmouth girls took part in a workshop led by professional actors from Shakespeare Schools Festival.

The girls received financial support from the Thomas Arno Fund at Haberdashers’ Hall and the Friends of Monmouth School for Girls, allowing them to tread the boards.

Ms Knight said: “It was a really positive experience: the mix of age groups saw the older girls mentor those from lower years.

“It was great for the girls to experience the inclusivity of the festival, working alongside students from a variety of other schools across south Wales.”

She added: “The experience of performing in a professional theatre was brilliant, particularly for Abigail in Year 9 who operated both light and sound from the technical booth. Shakespeare was demystified and brought to life.”