Forsooth, playing with Bard’s work
Around 220 Napier Girls’ High School students had a taste of Shakespeare recently when they celebrated the famous playwright’s works for the third year running.
Eight classes of Year 9 girls came to school in their Shakespeareinspired costumes in the morning and attended two workshops before lunch. These ranged from pomander-making to mask creating, portrait drawing to stage combat, where all of the students experienced a range of hands-on activities, says teacher-in-charge of junior English Sarah Mullen.
“The girls really enjoyed the fun day, especially learning about Shakespearean food and also the differences of today and then, and how we take things for granted, like showering.”
A banquet was held in the hall with students bringing their own Elizabethan delicacies. In charge of dressing their own tables, each class competed with carefully chosen themes and delicately arranged place settings, Sarah says.
“Dramatic performance and speech finals ended the day with an entertaining mix of topics on poor hygiene in Shakespeare’s time to the art of foretelling in Shakespeare’s plays. First place for her outstanding and entertaining speech on ‘foretelling’ was Amaia Watson, with second place awarded to Lucy McCutcheon for her humorous and well constructed speech on poor hygiene.”
Students started the term learning about Shakespeare and the era. They then learnt a play ranging from Macbeth, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream to Romeo and Juliet. They then had two weeks to prepare for either a speech on a topic like Queen Elizabeth, the black plague, etc or a performance from one of their plays.
“It was great to see how engaged the students were throughout the day and how they all got involved with dressing Elizabethan style, or as a character from the plays. It was a brilliantly run day, with all of the English department dressing up and helping with the organisation over two terms. These teachers also ran the workshops, however that wouldn’t happen without the help of fellow colleagues and the management team’s support.”
Enjoying NGHS Shakespeare Day are (from left) Year 9 dean and judge Mrs Stichbury, first place speech winner Amaia Watson, second place Lucy McCutcheon and head girl and judge Hannah Rawnsley.