The Shakespeare Schools Festival Project 2018 : 'The Tempest'

The Shakespeare Schools Festival are the largest youth drama organisation in the UK; they give school age children from all backgrounds the opportunity to study and perform Shakespeare's greatest work at their local professional stage.

As we at Fulwell Junior School have always taken great pride in our creativity, and after our spectacular rendition of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in 2016, we have enrolled the school again in the Festival for 2018. This will culminate in the school performing at the Northern Stage Theatre, Newcastle, on Friday 9th November along with other schools in the region.

We are currently mid-way through our rehearsal schedule with the twenty five fabulous cast members working hard on Wednesday and Friday evenings alongside Mrs Humphries, Mrs Hands, Mrs Dryden, Miss Birch and Miss Cook. This week we attended our cast workshop at The Northern Stage where we had the opportunity to share a scene from our play and receive some expert critique from the SSF staff. Rehearsals are going well as we near our final performamce. This year we have chosen a circus theme to help us with characterisation and staging.

As a Rights Respecting Silver level school we believe that ‘education should help us use and develop our talents and abilities’ (UN Rights of the Child Article 29). Shakespeare is an embedded and integral part of our curriculum from Y3 to Y6 and mirrors our high aspirations for all our pupils who have readily risen to the challenge of tackling the plot and tricky language and phrases from the script. It is a joy to walk around school and hear our Year 3 pupils debating in the playground who is better – Caliban or Prospero?

As part of the Shakespeare for Schools Festival, Fulwell Juniors are preparing to deliver an electric performance of The Tempest. Taking inspiration from the magic of the big top, Prospero (the ringmaster) tells this famous story with the help of a charismatic circus troupe including Ariel (his beautiful assistant), mime artists clowns and strongmen all to a lively and pulsating soundtrack of Irish punk music.

Our rehearsal schedule has been relentless but we have been blessed with a very enthusiastic and committed staff and cast who have been wonderfully supported by family and friends who have helped performers in learning lines and boosting their confidence.

Beyond the words of The Bard, the pupils have injected singing, dancing and plenty of laughter to entertain the audience with this captivating spectacle.

Move over Hugh Jackman … THIS is ‘The Greatest Show’.