Bard still pre­vails

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Pa­trick Spot­tis­woode hates be­ing away from Shake­speare’s Globe Theatre but see­ing col­lege stu­dents per­form lines from the Bard’s plays makes him smile.

The Globe’s di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion, Mr Spot­tis­wood has been in New Zealand as a guest of Shake­speare Globe Cen­tre New Zealand. He was an asses­sor at a fes­ti­val in Welling­ton last week­end, and also took the chance to visit some schools, Toi Whakaari (New Zealand Drama School) and Whi­tireia Com­mu­nity Polytech­nic’s School of Per­form­ing Arts.

He held an in­ter­ac­tive session with stu­dents at Porirua Col­lege last Wed­nes­day, as­sist­ing them with lines from Romeo and Juliet. Some tripped over the tricky prose, while the mean­ings of words like ‘‘yon­der’’ were over the heads of oth­ers.

‘‘The Globe [in Lon­don] is a big place but some­where you can whis­per your lines and still have that con­nec­tion with the au­di­ence,’’ he said, as each stu­dent softly read a line to the per­son next to them.

Teliu Valoaga and Jamie Nansen said the session – which had them run­ning to a chair to read lines and ac­cen­tu­at­ing one word in each sen­tence – was more fun than they thought it would be.

‘‘ That was re­ally cool. It makes me want to go and visit the Globe,’’ Teliu said.

Mr Spot­tis­woode ap­peared wist­ful upon view­ing slides of his beloved theatre on the banks of the Thames, but said reach­ing out to stu­dents of this age was im­por­tant. Whether it is Ki­wis man­gling vow­els, the dis­tinc­tive Welsh ac­cent, or south­ern United States kids drawl­ing, he finds it all ‘‘in­struc­tive’’.

‘‘I hear Shake­speare all the time, but the beauty of it is that ev­ery­one makes it their own. It’s fan­tas­tic to hear their [Porirua Col­lege stu­dents] way of do­ing it and I find it re­fresh­ing. Some- times you for­get the first time you heard Shake­speare and I love en­gag­ing with young peo­ple as they are dis­cov­er­ing the lan­guage. It’s hum­bling.’’

He said pas­sion­ate teach­ers and stu­dents will al­ways give the plays, writ­ten more than 400 years ago, rel­e­vance.

In Lon­don, Mr Spot­tis­woode over­sees a depart­ment of 25 full­time staff and 65 free­lance prac­ti­tion­ers who pro­vide lec­tures, work­shops, cour­ses and pro­duc­tions for more than 100,000 peo­ple at the Globe ev­ery year, and many more through outreach and dis­tance learn­ing.

Sell­ing Shake­speare: De­spite the halt­ing de­liv­ery of some, Pa­trick Spot­tis­woode was suf­fi­ciently im­pressed with the en­thu­si­asm of the Porirua Col­lege stu­dents as they read lines from Romeo and Juliet last week.

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