Shakespeare for Schools

23rd November 2016

This year CCGS participated in the ‘Shakespeare Schools Festival’ for the second year in a row. Following a successful workshop day earlier in the year, the cast performed their shortened production of ‘Twelfth Night’ on November 9th, at the Theatre Royal, Margate. This year CCGS performed alongside St Peters, Hartsdown Academy and Bradstow School, with the students all supporting each other’s work. The festival gives young people the opportunity to work closely with a Shakespearean text, and to then perform it in a professional theatre.  It also gave students the experience of running a dress and technical rehearsal with the theatres technical crew, led by professional actors.

Teacher directors Mrs. Magill and Mr. Gillin led CCGS; and cleverly envisioned the play being set at Ramsgate Yacht club and the local beach. This modern adaptation involved contemporary costume and setting, but used traditional Elizabethan songs within the piece, creating authenticity. All sounds were performed live on stage, aided by onstage musician and narrator Simeon Crosher. Much to the delight of the audience the play that revolves around two separated twins, involved twin sisters Melodie and Lucy Karczewski playing the roles of Sebastian and Viola who were outstanding in their performances. Other notable performances included Niall McDaid’s characterization of the Duke Orsino and Darcy Barham’s portrayal of Olivia. A special mention must also be given to Conor Field who played Sir Toby Belch and Peter Clapham who played Sir Andrew Aguecheek; for their excellent comedic timing, singing, dancing and general revelry. Their co-conspirator Maria was played excellently by Jemma Hart who was also the assistant director of St Peter’s production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Alfie Lawrence’s Malvolio must also be mentioned, particularly for his most comedic scene involving a full wetsuit and yellow stockings. The whole performance was packed full of fun, using beach loungers and inflatables and a strong ensemble to help create the joyful mood.

 Jonny Tyndale, the SSF coordinator for the South east said, ’It was a wonderful show full of comedy which was underscored by a strong understanding of the complex language. You have a really gifted cast whose professionalism, confidence and focus shone through in their performance!’

Praised by parents and teachers alike, the festival was another great experience for drama students at CCGS, with hopefully many more in the future.

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