Shakespeare's Globe comes to Hurst - Hurstpierpoint College

Shakespeare’s Globe comes to Hurst

Year 8 students were in for a lively afternoon as Shakespeare’s Globe Lively Action Workshop, tailored to their current study of The Tempest, came to Hurst

The students started their afternoon together and embarked – as a team – on a virtual tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. They were encouraged to reflect on the architecture of the building to develop their understanding of what this type of construction meant for an audience in the late 16th century. To really grasp what it meant to take a trip to the theatre in Shakespeare’s England, the students pretended to be at a concert with one of the Globe’s practitioners. The students’ developed understanding of audience participation stood them in excellent stead for the second part of the workshop.

Engaging with The Tempest

After their tour had finished, the year split into three groups and each headed to their own location, with their own practitioner. Whilst the tasks and activities varied from group to group, the focus remained the same: to engage with The Tempest through activities unsuitable for a classroom and, fundamentally, to have some fun! Students were encouraged to use their bodies and the space as a means of interpretation. Whether that be through re-enacting the shipwreck or using freeze frames to unpack Shakespeare’s characterisation.

They not only had to use their bodies, but their voices too. If you walked past one of the locations, you would hear the cacophonous sound of Year 8 pupils shouting various lines of Shakespeare. A favourite being “sulphurous roaring”. Yet if you rounded the corner to another, you would be met with silence. Instead of roaring, students were silently dancing, aiming to replicate Prospero’s subtle, often silent, control of Ariel.

A pupil of mine, upon leaving the workshop, questioned “why can’t we do fun things like this in actual English lessons”. Whilst this is not a glowing review of my teaching, it is of the Globe and we are looking forward to seeing how this workshop translates into their re-creative assessments which Year 8 will complete after half-term! Rebecca Hartley, Head of English, Years 7 & 8

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