So, summer term is here and with it come all the trappings of madness, mayhem, musicals, moving on and… monsters. Last year, Team Six put on a show-stopping performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Admittedly, it was the S4K’s version, but, nevertheless it was still a monumental challenge for our 11-year-olds to step up to.
Some junior schools do touch upon Shakespeare in year six (some earlier) and they may embrace Romeo & Juliet, flirt with AMSND or get dark and moody with Macbeth – we did all three. And The Tempest too. Our children loved it, they found the language difficult (who doesn’t?) but they adored the characters; they found the plots, the twists, the tragedies and the imagery totally spellbinding. So, I foolishly (after seeing a live version of it in Wolverhampton with the children) decided that AMSND would be our end-of-year performance. What a stroke of genius/madness that turned out to be. Despite the exhausting nature of putting on performance, the visit from our friends, transition, leavers’ discos/ball/prizegivings et al, it was still a thrill to see these young children tackle Shakespeare and to do it so well.
I cannot take all the credit, to do so would be a dis-service to the team. It was a whole team effort and nobody takes more credit than the children themselves – they were astonishing. The songs, costumes, acting and general performance left parents in tears of joy, sadness and amazement.
How then do we top last year’s? What to do to continue in the wake of such a marvellous production? I did toy with the idea of putting on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – I’ve done it before and that too was excellent. But, after a short discussion and with this year group in mind, we settled for the metaphorical monster that is Macbeth.
We have a smaller cohort than last year (60:75) and there is a serious lack of girlpower but, Macbeth it is. Auditions begin this Friday with some of the team watching out for who has the deceitful powers of Lady Macbeth, the raw strength and poise of Macduff amd the ability to twist and turn in the skin of the titular role.
So hold on, buckle up and check in. This summer term is going to be a monster of a ride.