For­sooth, play­ing with Bard’s work

Napier Courier - - NEWS -

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.

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