Luke, Montgomery High School.
It was an experience like no other. A mad mash of seminars, acting and music. New skills were found, old ones were polished. The Royal Shakespeare Company once more improved us as people, and it did so over just three days.
After a TinTin-esque journey by train, taxi and foot, we found ourselves outside the Clore in Stratford. The midday sun glowed literally just as the Clore glowed metaphorically. Great things awaited us in the form of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
On that first afternoon, we walked the space and formed new alliances, getting to know the strange company we had been thrown into. Teachers and students were treated equally, each having to display the same level of commitment and fledgling skill. We were taught professional techniques on how to improve, whilst our peers and friends fed back from an amateur view point. It was interesting to hear the contrast between audience and professionals, with both opinions helping equally.
Whereas the first day was incredible, the next day was extraordinary. Once more we acted, slipping into the aurora of the Fairies, the clumsy overalls of the Mechanicals and the elegance of the Court. Our voices rose and fell through varying octaves, slicing through from one accent to another. With just our tones, we created a new world. As we added body language, stage directions and music, we formed a new universe. With merely an empty circle and endless enthusiasm, performances were created that wouldn’t look amiss on a professional stage.
We discovered music at the same time. At first the words, “Anyone can sing,” were met with a cynical murmuring. Merely two hours later, I don’t think anyone disagreed. A beautiful music arose from the stamp of the feet and the trill of our lungs. We discussed atmosphere and enchantment, every subject bringing a new sheen to our festival. I can still feel the music now.
It would be wrong not to mention Henry V. I have often enjoyed the School Broadcasts but my enjoyment of this was beyond that. A perfect mixture of comedy and seriousness, realised brilliantly by the team at the RSC. Upon leaving, I instantly began to count down the days until the broadcast so I could see it again.
In conclusion, I enjoyed the weekend immensely. I feel as if I have learnt a lot which I can use in many aspects of my life, not only the festival next year. I am sure I am not the only one with this opinion. Despite the enchantment of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, its magic woven through our interactions for those three days, the true magic was in the work of the RSC.