Minsthorpe Shakespeare Festival: Not So Little – But Certainly Fierce!

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This year Minsthorpe Community College followed in the footsteps of Honley High School and hosted its first ever Shakespeare Festival on 3rd April 2019. A staggering 223 students, ranging from Year 4 to Year 9, have joined forces to perform scenes from this year’s magical play, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

Last year, local Primary Schools were invited to watch Minsthorpe Shakespeare Ensemble’s very own production of ‘Macbeth’ in The Training and Conference Centre, and were offered the opportunity to don their fairy wings, be blinded by love potions and contribute to this year’s performance. We were proud to collaborate with hard working pupils and staff from Carlton Junior and Infant School, Moorthorpe Primary School, Northfield Primary School, Upton Primary School and Ash Grove Primary Academy.

Minsthorpe’s Shakesepeare Ensemble showcased exceptional teamwork, dedication and creativity, rehearsing lines at lunchtimes and after school. They practised a range of different drama techniques – from choral speaking to choreographed movements. Having performed a range of Shakespeare’s oeuvre over the past four years including: ‘Hamlet’, ‘Henry V’, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘Macbeth’, Minsthorpe students were excited to sink their teeth into ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ – ‘A story of order and disorder, reality and appearance and love and marriage.’

The audience of parents, carers and staff were wowed by the students’ polished and professional performances – doing the Bard himself proud! The Hall was really brought to life with magical music provided by Mrs Keith and green foliage to replicate the enchanted forest. The behaviour of students was exemplary and it was a very proud day for all the schools involved.

Mrs Sally Thompson, who invited the primary schools to participate in this year’s performance, was overjoyed with the students’ success, and enjoyed visiting each school to develop their rehearsals. "I am delighted with the outstanding performances from all of the contributing parties. It was superb to witness all of the pupils working together to perform a full play, and amazing to hear students as young as eight reciting Shakespeare’s wonderful language!"

As always, thank you to Miss Ficken, Mrs Keith and Miss Wildman for their support in the months leading up to the final show. It appears with all hands on deck, the course of true theatre really did run smooth.