07 February 2018
Primary schools enjoy Macbeth with Sevenoaks School pupils
Sevenoaks School students have been touring nine local primary schools with an interactive performance of Macbeth, as part of their Voluntary Service Unit (VSU) programme.
They began the tour at Amherst School in January and will finish at Ryarsh Primary School at the end of March, taking in a number of schools including Dunton Green, Weald, Platt and Kemsing in between.
The nine Sevenoaks students, aged 14-17, were tasked with creating a primary school-friendly version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by their Drama and Service teacher Karl Niklas. A staple for Year 5 and 6 literacy classes, the Scottish play frames the schemes of work teachers will undertake over that half term.
The students began by exploring the story of Macbeth, and then created their own show based upon the play. They added a new scene about Shakespeare and his children to introduce the story and then used Shakespeare throughout the play to help recap and narrate scenes.
This show was designed specifically to be accessible for younger pupils. At various points in the show, the primary school children joined the Sevenoaks students on stage and played some of the smaller roles: messengers, strange voices, guards, some rather incompetent murderers and ghosts. All of these truly appeal to the sense of play for Years 5 and 6.
Sophie Rayment, a Sevenoaks School student who played Macduff, King Duncan and Shakespeare’s daughters said: ‘I loved every moment. I feel that the show is not only helping the children gain a further understanding of what they are learning about in English, but also encouraging them to enjoy drama and really get stuck in with it. As people who are really involved with drama, we love the idea that we could be inspiring children to take it up and enjoy it as much as we do.’
A pupil from Weald Primary School who watched the performance commented: ‘It was amazing, I want to be an actor myself and the play inspired me so much more. I love how you got people involved with it and my favourite part was King Duncan being killed.’
View photos from the Weald Primary performance here