Shakespeare is given a shake-up

BRAMPTON Manor s young thespians gave an impressive demonstration of their dramatic skills when they performed an updated version of Hamlet at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford. Under the direction of Sophie Walding, the school s head of drama, William S

BRAMPTON Manor's young thespians gave an impressive demonstration of their dramatic skills when they performed an updated version of Hamlet at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford.

Under the direction of Sophie Walding, the school's head of drama, William Shakespeare's 400-year-old tragedy was given a 1940s setting.

'Passion'

She said: "Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's famous tragedies and I wanted the students to encapsulate its drama and passion in their performance.


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"I decided to set it in post-war in Paris because I think it gives the play an air of elegance and supports the telling of the story."

Fifteen-year-old Oswald Addo, who played the ghost, said that giving the play a '40s setting "made it relatively easy to pick up on and understand".

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He praised both his fellow actors and staff from the school on Roman Road, East Ham, for making a success of the production.

"Overall, I think our show went really well," Oswald said. "This can only happen if all the actors manage to collaborate as much as possible. I am truly grateful to the cast and teachers for making the performance work."

Ms Walding said she was "very proud" of the students, adding that they had "worked incredibly hard, learning the text, understanding its meaning and responded with sensitivity to direction.

"Their performance at the Kenneth More Theatre was a great success as they delivered the story with enthusiasm, integrity and confidence".

The production was staged as part of the Shakespeare for Schools Project which, Ms Walding, said has been running for just under a decade and is the most prestigious youth drama festival in the UK.

"Schools and theatres get involved in the project all over the country and students perform Shakespeare in a variety of styles," she explained.

'Language'

"I believe the language of Shakespeare is vital to our students' education as it encourages them to understand a style of language which connects and deals with issues surrounding modern-day life.

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