Between February–April this year, we’ve partnered with Delight to help 14 primary schools to create their own magical performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The children, from 14 selected primary schools across Surrey, first enjoy a specially adapted interactive performance – which uses narration, call and response and the ever-popular Shakespeare puppet, ‘Little Will’ – to help inspire and excite the children, introducing them to the story and Shakespeare’s work, usually for the first time. Children are invited to step up on stage to take on important roles within the performance, giving them a rare opportunity to play alongside the professional actors. Even teachers aren’t safe as each play ends with a member of staff playing a vital character.
“The children LOVED the performance! They were all absolutely buzzing afterwards.” Year 5 teacher
Over the following weeks, the actors return to the schools to work with children in Year 5 to create their own performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, through workshops and teacher-led activities. They tackle all aspects – from performing, to design, costumes, staging and marketing. Not only do they enjoy a fantastic first-hand experience of creating their own Shakespearean performance, but build their confidence, social skills, teamwork and engage better in learning.
“We are very proud to work with Delight and bring our productions to this young audience. For many of the children this will be the only theatre they’ve seen, and this is a unique opportunity for their schools to engage with Shakespeare on their doorstep. Surrey is generally considered to be a prosperous county with a host of opportunities, but for many children this simply isn’t the case. We feel privileged to have worked with Delight over several years to level the playing field and allow children to watch, create and study multiple Shakespeare plays before they’ve reached secondary school. The children’s energy, enthusiasm and skill make each performance at fantastic experience.” Ant Stones, GSC’s Head of Education.
2019 marks the fourth year of the successful partnership between GSC and Delight, which has also encouraged 8-11-year-old children to discover Romeo and Juliet (in 2017) and Macbeth (2018). Over the three years of this trilogy, GSC and Delight have worked with 1,855 children and 62 teachers and they hope to work with 10 new schools in the coming years, repeating the trilogy for a brand-new group of children.
For more information on Delight in Dream, our our other Brave New World Projects, please see our website.