We started our tour by having a discussion about the day ahead. It was obvious that everyone was nervous, but excited at the same time. We talked about the importance of telling a story and the fact that this play is incredibly relevant to today’s young people.
We then had to sort out all our props and costumes for the tour and we had to all take ownership of one piece of equipment. We then had to magically pack all this in to the mini bus, which was like playing tetris. Especially with some of the cast who have no practical understanding of space – no names – Teejay!
We then set off to perform at Lings Primary School. The reason we started there is that this is the birthplace of LPAA and almost half the cast used to attend the school. It was great to be back on hallowed ground and to be in a hall that has seen so many exceptional productions in its time. The welcome was superb and the first audience were amazing.
They really understood the play because they had just finished studying it. It was great to see our Ambassadors talk to every child before the production started and the interaction meant that everyone was comfortable front he beginning.
The performance went well. It was weird as it was the first time we had an audience that was young. It was also the first performance of the tour – so it felt strange. The Queen Man speech between Sahib, George and Dorcas was a particular favourite. All the deaths scenes were very impressive and the audience really felt the emotion on stage, there were definite tears in the house.
We then packed up and off we went to Roade Primary School. We had an hour to sit back, relax and have some lunch. It was great to catch up and talk about old times and the productions we have done in our schools. We also talked about how we could improve not he next production and we did a review and reflection session.
It was also really nice to have some time to talk to Mr Currell and Sally and to find out that many of the children had never seen Shakespeare before. This made it even more exciting because it was our mission to introduce them to the play.
As they came in our Ambassadors spoke to them and made them feel welcome. The play went really well and it was interesting to perform in a whole new space. We were all very tired but we gave it 100% and I was impressed by how focussed the audience was.
We then packed up once again – and returned home to Silhouette. Here is what some of the cast have to say:
It was really exciting and it was nice to see that we could take all our rehearsals and put the play on. I learnt how to use the space more and how to perform in different venues – Thomas.
It was really surprising to see how captivated the audience were. It is just a hall and they have to concentrate for a long time. I was amazed that they could do this – Sayana.
It was good to see everyone pull and work together to create a really good show that tells a powerful story. It was great to see that the children understood every word – David.
It was a new experience and I am glad I got the opportunity to do it. I am tired and I am aching – George.