For the third year in a row, thirteen Minsthorpe students impressed audiences at the Honley Shakespeare Festival with this year’s performance of William Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. The Festival moved to an outdoor venue in Beaumont Park, Huddersfield, where ten schools collaborated to produce the entire play. They performed on the evening of Friday 31st March against the stunning backdrop of the Bandstand.
Our students, from Years 7, 8, 9 and 12, learnt and devised a scene from Act Three in rehearsals over the last eleven weeks, and wowed the large crowd of parents and curious members of the public with their enthusiasm, projection and emotion. They developed resilience, resourcefulness and respect by demonstrating exceptional team-work skills, and supported each other throughout the whole process.
The Minsthorpe scene told the story of Miranda and Ferdinand’s blossoming romance, and the ensemble used choral speaking, choreographed movement and powerful singing to capture the complex beauty of first love between the shipwrecked youngsters.
The other performers involved were from a combination of Primary and Secondary schools in Huddersfield, and again invited Mrs Sally Thompson, from the English team, to represent the College at the seventh Honley Shakespeare Festival, as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Associated Schools Programme, a national project to promote the active study and performance of Shakespeare’s plays for all ages and abilities.
This is the third production Minsthorpe has been involved in, with ‘Hamlet’ in 2015 and ‘Henry V’ last year. "Watching young people in all key stages of education, from the age of six to seventeen, enjoy and perform Shakespeare to such a high standard is truly inspirational," said Mrs Thompson.
"Every year the Ensemble at Minsthorpe grows stronger and stronger! The whole experience has been amazing, and the added challenge and excitement of performing outside for the general public brought the best out of our students. I couldn’t have asked for a better ensemble to work with, from watching the RSC’s First Encounters production in February, to creating our own Tempest in the Park; the fun they shared on the evening blew us away! Many thanks to Miss Wildman and Mrs Keith for helping at the rehearsals and over the Festival evening. We couldn’t have done it without their support."