Good morrow thou sugared, softly-sprighted wafer-cake!
This term Year 5 have been exploring the Shakespearean comedy Twelfth Night. Alongside their reading lessons, the play has been brought to life through a series of drama workshops.
In our first session, students considered how to create a dramatic opening to a play. No one writes a better Act One than Shakespeare, and Twelfth Night’s shipwreck is one of his best. Pupils staged the shipwreck using physical theatre techniques to imagine life upon the Jacobean ship before dramatically creating a slow-motion shipwreck.
Our second focus was on the characters in Twelfth Night. As well as giving us shipwrecks and star-crossed lovers, Shakespeare also gave us the most brilliantly named characters. Can anyone think of a better character name than Sir Toby Belch? Pupils used their body language, facial expression and voice to act out the many lead roles in Twelfth Night from the lovestruck Orsino to the scheming Malvolio.
Our final session explored the wonderful language that Shakespeare has given the world and we began to consider the skills an actor needs to perform often unusual vocabulary. If someone were to call you a “marbled, smooth-faced cuckoo-bud” would you be delighted or offended? Shakespeare wrote the most brilliant compliments and insults and Year 5 had great fun greeting each other with ‘good morrow’ and calling each other many weird and wonderful Shakespearean names.
Year 5’s ability to take a play from over 500 hundred years ago and bring it to life with energy and humour was a sight to behold.