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Romeo and Juliet – A Key Stage 3 Production

Romeo and Juliet – A Key Stage 3 Production

On 5th and 6th July students from across Key Stage 3 performed Great Marlow’s inaugural Shakespeare production to an audience of family, friends and visitors from local primary schools.

As is always the case, school plays take over the lives of those involved while they are ‘under construction’ With this one though, auditions and rehearsals began in the spring term so preparing for it was something of a marathon: it is a testament to those involved that they all stayed the course even if we hit our personal ‘walls’. Many of the cast had never even studied the play in class so the Bard’s language must have seemed impenetrable in the early days. In fact we likened it to giving them a script in a foreign language and asking them to learn and perform it without understanding that language.

Dealing with rivalries and generational differences, the Romeo and Juliet performed this week took these themes and translated them into a modern school setting with the Head Boy and Girl attempting, fatally, to decide the future of Juliet. For the production team one of the lighter tasks was choosing contemporary music to suit our idea of what the play should look like when set in a Marlow School. Staff hearing us in rehearsal doubted that we were really doing Romeo and Juliet and suggested we might just be having fun with some of our favourite tunes. Comments from audience members proved we were right to have faith in our choices.

The evening performance quickly sold out with extra rows being added to bring the audience numbers up to over 200. This is phenomenal and commendable given so many of those at home must have had to listen to those lines being practised day in and day out. Thank you to all of you who, despite having probably heard it a hundred times over, still came along to support us. Especially pleasing was that the audience was made up of all sections of the school’s community. In the interval I spoke to two year nine students who commented on how they appreciated being able to compare the interpretations of the deaths of Mercutio and Tybalt with the way the scene was portrayed in class– such insightful students!

Staff from the Drama, History and English Departments collaborated on this work and we are already planning our next mission. Fortunately, the cast and crew have agreed to work with us again in future, although it’s unlikely to be Shakespeare for a while.

Mrs Sadd

KS3 Romeo & Juliet Production. July 2017

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