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A great night out at The Com­edy of Errors!

Comedy of Errors

One chilly Thurs­day night, 22nd Novem­ber, King Ethelbert’s stu­dents, par­ents, teach­ers and local com­mu­nity found them­selves washed up on the shores of ancient Eph­esus for a riotous adven­ture of mis­taken iden­tity, hilar­i­ous slap-​stick com­edy and audi­ence inter­ac­tion in our very own school hall and – here is the best part – watch­ing 23 of our delight­ful Year 7 stu­dents per­form­ing along­side the pro­fes­sional cast from The Royal Shake­speare Com­pany. The Com­edy of Errors First Encoun­ters pro­duc­tion, per­formed by the Royal Shake­speare Com­pany in part­ner­ship with King Ethel­bert School, was noth­ing short of a rip-​roaring suc­cess and our Year 7 actors took pride of place with their out­stand­ing and inno­v­a­tive per­for­mance which told Egeon’s story to kick the whole pro­duc­tion off in superb style.

Our won­der­ful Year 7 cast, guided and pre­pared by their RSC Asso­ciate Schools teach­ers, Carol O’Shea, Oliver Mor­ris and Kim Voisey and their pro­fes­sional the­atre men­tor, Ellie Wright from The Mar­lowe The­atre, devised a truly beau­ti­ful and inven­tive sto­ry­telling using object manip­u­la­tion to cre­ate large and impres­sive mov­ing pup­pets. They cre­ated the Antipho­lus and Dromio twins (who get mixed up and sep­a­rated after birth) from span­ners, shoes, bot­tles and pli­ers and cre­ated a huge mov­ing ship and ship-​wreck scene from a length of rope and some net­ting. Not only this, but they also per­formed 36 lines of Shakespeare’s script expres­sively and proudly, as well as cre­at­ing spe­cial sound­scapes for atmos­phere. Talk about burst with pride!

The per­for­mance was also played in the after­noon for the whole of Year 7, who had pre­vi­ously stud­ied the play in Eng­lish, using rehearsal room approaches them­selves. Many of our Year 7 stu­dents also par­tic­i­pated in a design com­pe­ti­tion to cre­ate an impor­tant part of the stage set – a disc bear­ing designs of the most excit­ing fea­tures of Mar­gate. The three win­ning designs were incor­po­rated into the final piece (pic­tured) which was cre­ated by Emma Sut­ton, one of our tal­ented Art and Design teach­ers. It looked stunning.

Let’s hear how our tal­ented Year 7s felt on the night:

“It felt like I was a pro­fes­sional, even though I am not and I have learned that Shake­speare is not that hard to under­stand.” (Emily)

“I felt so happy and proud! I would love to do more!” (Katie)

“The whole expe­ri­ence was fas­ci­nat­ing and the amount of energy the RSC actors put in really boosted my con­fi­dence. It felt amaz­ing to know that, one day, those peo­ple started out just like me.” (Darcy)

…..And now, let’s hear it from the audience:

“To me, the children’s per­for­mance was the best part (biased, as a proud par­ent of one of them!). I noticed some local chil­dren in the audi­ence — I think it def­i­nitely makes Shake­speare acces­si­ble to a younger audi­ence. I think the pub­lic feel less intim­i­dated com­ing to a school to watch the RSC rather than the high­brow Globe! Cost is also a fac­tor, too.” (Kirsty Beck­ett, staff mem­ber and par­ent of a young performer).

“My hus­band and I came and thought it was bril­liant! I thought the per­for­mance was excel­lent — amaz­ing energy, really funny, very clever stag­ing and great use of music. Loved the impro­vi­sa­tion and the enjoy­ment showed by the actors. The stu­dents’ part was really pro­fes­sion­ally done and well-​integrated into the over­all per­for­mance.” (Vicki Peaple, staff member)

“I thought the whole per­for­mance was absolutely superb and am find­ing it dif­fi­cult to pick a favourite moment (obvi­ously aside from when our stu­dents per­formed!). See­ing the actors play a musi­cal instru­ment (some­times more than one) and then imme­di­ately act as well was impressive.”(Tom Sellen, Assis­tant Head Teacher.)

The school also got to take part in a live broad­cast on BBC Radio Kent on Wednes­day, 21st Novem­ber on the Dominic King show. The fea­ture included some recorded sound of our stu­dent cast rehears­ing. They sounded so pro­fes­sional, clear and con­fi­dent. This was fol­lowed by an inter­view with Robin Bell­field from the RSC and Carol O’Shea, Lead RSC Asso­ciate Schools’ teacher.

Watch this space for Romeo and Juliet – our next per­for­mance adven­ture – at The Mar­lowe The­atre on Tues­day, 19th March. Some of our Year 7s have already been inspired to sign up for the cast!

Disc

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Eagles
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78
Fal­cons
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96
Hawks
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87