Perse actors shine in Macbeth production
In the true tradition of the Perse ‘play way’, Year 11 actors brought Shakespeare off the page and onto the stage with an excellent production of Macbeth.
The Bard’s well-known tragedy is being studied by the year group as part of the GCSE curriculum and was chosen by co-directors and English teachers Kathryn Salmond and Hannah Flowers for that reason.
Miss Salmond said: “We both genuinely love the play and think it’s one of Shakespeare’s best works, but we thought it would be helpful for them to have the opportunity to act it out and experience Shakespeare through acting which is the best way to do it.
“The students taking part have said how useful it’s been for them. Some of them learned lines which weren’t just those of their own characters and that’s helped them gain a better understanding of Macbeth, which will help them in their exams.”
Rehearsals began during last Summer term to give the cast time to get to grips with the ‘Scottish play’, with Miss Salmond impressed with how pupils had got stuck into the production.
She said: “They were such a brilliant cast and wonderful to work with. It was noticeable how they thought about the characterisation. They didn’t just learn the lines, they inhabited the characters.
“We also cast the play so that some pupils had more than one role. Most of the time that was aligned with a book I read that explained how certain parts would have been double cast in Shakespeare’s time, so the Witches were also the Murderers and Lady Macbeth also played Seyton.”
Miss Salmond was also delighted with the reaction to the production from audiences across the two performances.
“We ‘sold’ the most seats for a Year 11 play since the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre opened, so that’s very exciting, and it definitely helped the actors feeding off that energy,” said Miss Salmond.
“It’s nice when the whole school community comes out for an event. We felt like there was a buzz about it, which is great because they put in so much hard work.”