Exploration into our creative past allows children to be creative now; to understand that creativity can take many forms, and that all these forms have validity.
Our ‘Introduction to Shakespeare’ tour was the first area we as a company explored. Using ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ we wanted to introduce, both primary and secondary, students to the great stories, unique characters, and rich language that Shakespeare has to offer. In a way that was as accessible as possible.
“Introduction to Shakespeare”…You did not disappoint!…Wonderful! Exactly how I think Shakespeare and Midsummer Night’s Dream should be. The pace, fun and movement combined with Shakespearean plots and language were beautifully handled by you and the company. This, I feel, is the key to the success of New Chapter, the fact that the children in the audience are taken through the process using explanation and original Shakespearean language whilst having fun!”
To say we loved doing the tour would be an understatement. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, learning a great deal through the process; and, if the feedback is to be believed, we weren’t the only ones…
“Fabulous production (Shakespeare). Really made it accessible to the students and was understandable. Students’ behaviour was testament to this. Ask them back!!”
The performances were designed to introduce Key Stage 2 and 3 students to Shakespeare and his plays in a fun, exciting and easily understood way. This was achieved through a 40 minute performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays (that married the original Shakespearean text with contemporary prose) and optional post-performance workshops.
The mix of the original Shakespearean and contemporary prose allowed students the chance to come to grips with the Shakespearean whilst simultaneously allowing them to understand the play, the characters and the plot. The workshops were designed to further develop the learner’s initial understanding through exercises, discussion and debate – not to mention the performances they created around the story and the characters themselves.
“…The workshops were a great success…Once again, the company worked very hard and the children loved it all. Only this morning, pupils have stopped me in the corridor and quoted the script!..”
Shakespeare is a man who is fundamental to our cultural identity, to how we view ourselves as British, even to the language we speak!
‘This is my favourite Shakespeare play and this is the most enjoyable and accessible (without compromise) production I’ve seen.”
We aimed to provide, not only a Performance of great quality, that would grab the children’s imaginations, encourage their creative juices and instil in them an interest in Shakespeare, but also, Workshops that would push them creatively, encourage debate and cement a deeper understanding of the play’s themes, characters, plot and ideas.
“I would like to thank you for the opportunity of watching your performance of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. I thought it was the most child friendly adaptation of a Shakespeare production that I have seen and am awaiting with anticipation your performance for our children. Once again many thanks.”
Though we aren’t touring an ‘Introduction to Shakespeare’ production at the moment, we most certainly will be again in the future