This year students at Bentley Wood joined the Coram Shakespeare Festival to deliver a production of the tragic story of Othello. The festival invites schools to produce plays from Shakespeare, which are then brought together at a professional theatre to be shared to participating schools and an audience. The Bentley Wood students were hard at work developing a performance to showcase the wonderful skills the girls possess. The performance was held at Watersmeet Theatre in Rickmansworth on 16th March 2022. Here are some of the student comments.
Being part of the Othello Production was a wonderful experience, and while it wasn’t a first time to some actors, we assume it was the first time for most of the cast. As the crew of the production, everyone worked with their utmost effort, aspiring to give their very best to the audience. We’d rehearse every Thursday after school from 3:30 to 5:00pm. These rehearsals were commitments we’d made; however, we know all of us saw this as a way of expressing ourselves in terms of drama. This performance allowed us to see beautiful personalities and unique talents, it was a wonder to socialize with these people. We were from years 7, 8 and 9 and it was a great opportunity to interact with other year groups.
As part of the production, specific characters were encouraged to attend extra, small rehearsals which consisted of discussing lines, discovering their meaning and the best possible ways to show the emotions of the characters when acting. I undertook the role of Emilia and so I attended short rehearsals throughout the week. I feel it helped boost my overall confidence and I was able to portray my character in the best way possible.
On Friday 21st January, a professional from Shakespeare’s School came in to help out with our performance. We had many different exercises and we learnt how to use our bodies in ways to bring the background to life. For example, we had an exercise where we had to act as furniture in order to make the scenery. On the final performance day, we had a tech rehearsal, where we went through scenes with lighting and sound cues. We then had a dress rehearsal which was a full run through and a primary school also performing in the festival watched us. During the actual performance, it was so much fun and every single person in the cast was passionate and brought the play to life. We all hope we have another chance to do this again!
Manasika, and Anna 8IRe
The experience before and during the show was so exciting. We got to do a professional technical rehearsal and a dress rehearsal in front of another school. When it was finally our turn to perform on stage the experience was amazing. Seeing all of the people who came to watch the Shakespeare School Festival was thrilling. Whilst performing we got to experience the excitement and adrenaline of being on stage. Also, we got to watch two other schools perform and their performances were amazing. The Shakespeare School festival was an impeccable experience and I am glad I got that opportunity. If I could do it again I definitely would. –
Othello was an amazing experience which I will never forget. Bentley Wood High School performed Shakespeare’s play Othello at Watersmeet Theatre on Wednesday the 16th of March 2022. The performance was a huge success, and everyone enjoyed themselves. Everyone put in a lot of effort and attended rehearsals every Thursday after school. I would like to say a special thanks to Mr Rankin and the teachers who organised it all.
Every week the ensemble would learn something new, whether it was physical theatre, cues, transitions or even reacting to what the characters were saying. During this play, we became familiar with the storyline, and learnt how to speak and understand Shakspearian language.
Being part of this play gave us lots of opportunities; for example, we attended a drama workshop on the 20th of January. In this a professional actor came in and watched our play. He gave us some useful feedback which we used in our final performance. Each week we would add something to enhance the performance.
On Wednesday 16th of March 2022, we performed our play. Everyone was so excited. We did a technical rehearsal where we did the sound and lighting cues. After it finished, we had a dress rehearsal where we performed to another school. There were three other schools performing different Shakespeare plays: like Romeo& Juliet, A Midsummer’s Night’s dream and Taming of the Shrew. Later in the evening we performed the real performance of Othello. With the crowd settling down and the lights fading, the play had begun; all our hard work came down to this, we gave it our all. There was no need to worry because all the rehearsals paid off; the performance was amazing.