On Tuesday 7th November, 29 students from KS4 and Post 16 took part in the Shakespeare School’s Foundation event at the Theatre Royal in Winchester.
We performed our contemporary dance and movement interpretation of The Tempest, a play based on a magical Island inhabited by an ex-duchess and her daughter, a magical creature and a sprite.
The students rehearsed the show during the week leading up to the performance night. They showed exemplary behaviour, commitment to the piece and, in particular have developed a wonderful sense of creativity, adding their own ideas to the choreography.
There were so many achievements throughout the rehearsal process, from the development of the students’ choreography skills, the increase in the discipline, the way that the students extended and added their own motifs; but the most outstanding thing I saw was the way in which they worked together. The more experienced cast supported the less experienced members physically and emotionally throughout the process, offering advice to them all and helping them to achieve some very complex movement sequences. Students were taking cues from each other, performing in absolute synchronicity throughout the rehearsal stages and when performing on the night, it was a joy to be part of their journey.
The students arrived at the Theatre Royal on performance day, in readiness for their technical and dress rehearsals. Lewis took the role of technical student, and alongside Katie Hamilton (our technical director) he plotted all the lights for the show, and the sound cues. Throughout both rehearsals and during the performance, Lewis worked with great focus to follow the script and made every light cue at exactly the right time, adding a very special element to the show, knowing that one of our own students was controlling all the technical elements.
The rest of the cast were flawless in their rehearsals, making it so easy for Lewis and the Tech Crew from the Theatre to run them, and giving the students a chance to space themselves on the stage, finalise their moves (and in true Osborne style, adlib a few extras of their own!).
We enjoyed watching several other performances from Kings, St. Swithins and Westgate on the night, all of which were wonderful and inspiring. It was then Osborne’s turn to close the show. The students performed with elegance, grace, focus and determination. The sprites were led by Michael Cross who was a true professional backstage, encouraging everyone to be in the correct place in readiness for their entrances. Ella Parker lead Prospero’s team, and made a majestic, haunting Prospero, performing with the most conviction I have ever scene in any performance of The Tempest, by any Prospero. Jack Pledge lead the Noblemen, and delivered his lines with an authority and clarity, fit for a King.
The cast blew the audience away with their incredible performance. It was fantastic to watch them, so in tune with everyone else on stage, working together as a team with flawless precision. Osborne should be incredibly proud of their performance for The Shakespeare Schools Foundation event. It was magical.
Hannah Corrall, Director of The Tempest