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January 29th 2018

"Is this a workshop I see before me...?"

Year 9 gathered in the Gilt Hall one afternoon last week to take part in a Shakespeare workshop led by actor James Simmonds. 

Mr Simmonds’ aim was to help ‘demystify’ Shakespeare, and a series of activities did just that. Opening with some games to break the ice, the session moved on to exploring Shakespeare’s use of language before encouraging the girls to act out a speech from MacBeth.

Hafizah commented afterwards, “James helped me to understand Shakespeare’s language and feel more connected the play we analysed – ‘King Lear’.” One of the activities involved each girl reading a line from the play and working out what each meant as they built it up into the full speech.

The final activity, acting out a speech from MacBeth, saw the girls divide into groups to firstly analyse the piece, before performing it to the rest of the group.  The variety between pieces and different styles that resulted was fascinating.

Mr Simmonds was complimentary afterwards, saying the girls “threw themselves into the workshop and were enthusiastic, even with pieces they had no previous knowledge about prior to the session.”

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