Our Delight actors are into their third week of workshops, helping all schools involved to put on their own version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The first workshops revisit the story and explores how the teachers can use the children’s ideas to create a script, before finalising the production, with all its various elements – staging, costume, props, set, backstage, front of house and so on.
We caught up with the actors to see how they’d been finding this exciting stage of the project.
Ant: How have the teachers and children reacted to the workshops you’ve run so far?
Sam: All of the reactions we have had from the workshops have been brilliant. I think what they offer is a chance for pupils (and teachers alike) to let loose and pull silly faces and talk like a donkey.
Ant: And work out how to put on their own performance, of course.
Dewi: Definitely. The children have all been lovely, bright and very knowledgeable of a convoluted plot line.
Imran: It’s amazing to hear how confident the children are with the story. The first thing that we do in the workshop is to recap the plot – and every single school has blown us away with how detailed the student’s recollection of the plot and characters is. No mean feat considering most of them are new to Shakespeare!
Ant: Have the schools impressed you with their own ideas for the play?
Sam: It has been brilliant seeing how many different ways the children find to tell the same story. If they don’t have enough characters then, without prompting, they make more (Like Hermia’s Mum, Susan, or the ‘Screaming Crab Guy’) and if they don’t have enough actors in their group then they happily switch from one to another and double up.
Hannah: I was so enthused by how willing they were to have a go at improvising and trying out different characters. I really hope some of the shyer students who found their voices in the workshops are given the opportunity to flourish when they put on their own show. The majority of students clearly really loved the workshop process and didn’t want it to reach an end which was so rewarding
Dewi: The teachers have been really welcoming and supportive, too. Really keen to get involved and wiggle their thespian fingers. Brilliant work all round.
If you’d like to learn more about Delight Charity, the tour and our outreach work, please visit the Outreach pages of our website.