Year 6 Shines in Minimalist Macbeth

This week Year 6 took to the stage for their production of Macbeth. The boys started rehearsing in February for this performance and faced the challenge of tackling the original Shakespeare text. They met the task head on, put immense effort into learning lines and showed maturity in their approach.

On the night, each class took to the stage to perform an act from the play. There were some highly confident and convincing performances and it was clear that the boys had all pushed themselves to demonstrate their skills to the best of their ability. It was also wonderful to see boys who would not normally take centre stage show confidence and skill, seizing the chance to try a new challenge. There were some stand out performers who threw their voices to the back of the auditorium and expressed their characters with clarity and detail.

The production was performed in a minimalist style, to help the audience understand the plot and character changes act by act. Theatre Club members, from Year 6 – Year 8, designed and made costumes to help the audience follow along by spray painting colour coded t-shirts with character names. The Year 6 cast members were very excited to see their finished t-shirts and these were a great addition to the production. Back drops were also designed which outlined the scenes’ key characters and plot points, helping the audience follow along the story.

This was the first time that a play at Shrewsbury House has been staged with a thrust stage, allowing the audience to get closer to the action. It was a great experience for the boys to understand how performance spaces can be created. They were able to develop improved stage interactions, create different levels and locations and move between scenes effectively. They also got to see how lighting is changed and moved to light the stage, as we had to move the rigged lights so that they lit up the new space.

To open and close the show, Miss Weddle wrote sonnets which acted as prologue and epilogue to the story. These were set to music, composed by Miss Spence, and sung by the boys. The opening song, in a minor key, set the creepy tone of the performance, as the cast stood around the tent which concealed the Witches. The final song was accompanied by musicians playing violin and drum (from Year 6) to create an uplifting Gaelic sound.