Friday 10 Jun 2016

Years 8 and 9 Trip to Stratford-on-Avon - Hamlet

Simon Godwin’s direction of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of ‘Hamlet’ was met with rave reviews from almost a hundred De la Salle pupils who took part in the English Department’s annual Shakespearean outing! From the terrifying appearance of the ghost in the opening scenes, to the pile of carcasses as the curtain fell, we were enthralled. Paapa Essiedu’s interpretation of Hamlet fascinated the crowd who gathered at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Thursday 9th June. The text was brought to life by this fresh, vibrant and intriguing cast – who allowed us to see the maddened and grief stricken Hamlet seeking revenge for his father’s murder.

Essiedu made us cry, he brought us (literally) to the edge of our seats and he also made us chuckle with his lively embodiment of Shakespeare’s tragic hero. Although the play used the original text and was performed in a traditional Jacobean theatre, there was a certain originality to the performance that took us all on a crazed journey into the heart of the royal household of Denmark.

Hamlet has the world at his feet. Young, wealthy and living a hedonistic life studying abroad. Then word reaches him that his father is dead. Returning home he finds his world is utterly changed, his certainties smashed and his home a foreign land. Struggling to understand his place in a new world order he faces a stark choice. Submit, or rage against the injustice of his new reality?

As relevant today as when it was written, Hamlet confronts each of us with the mirror of our own mortality in an imperfect world.

With a stage that transformed in front of the audience’s eyes, scenes which seamlessly continued on throughout the acts and an eerie, melancholy lighting scheme – we were truly blown away by the RSC’s performance. The captivating cast, intelligent setting and endearing performances allowed for a most enjoyable experience. Than

Thanks to Mrs Heron and Mr Talbot for organising this fabulous trip!


Miss H Fair

Shakespeare’s Birth Place

Our day began with a guided tour of Shakespeare’s birthplace in the heart of the quaint Stratford-Upon-Avon town centre. We were led through a virtual tour of Shakespeare’s life and times before entering the house - and saw some wonderful trinkets along the way. The first edition of Shakespeare’s folio was displayed, along with many other fascinating articles. A traditional school desk that the juvenile Shakespeare would have used in his school days, a signet ring decorated with William Shakespeare’s initials (did it belong to the Bard himself?) and a recreation of Shakespeare’s writing room surrounded by intricately placed items captured our attentions before we’d even entered the house itself! We followed the beautiful garden path to the house, and once inside we continued to be bombarded with weird and wonderful objects from Shakespeare’s actual life! We were transported back to the 17th Century; the traditional home furnishings allowed us to see what life may have been like for the young Shakespeare family. The beds, clothes and original artefacts gave us an insight to the conditions and day to day life of this household.

We were told wonderful tales by the tour guides, and learned so much about the class system, decoration and how England worked in the 1600s. After all of this, we were even treated to an impromptu performance by two actresses in customary dress. The courtyard was brought to life by their rendition of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s fiery relationship - a real delight!