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Young actors take to the stage in Battle of the Bards.

Burnt Mill Academy / Thu 13th Dec 2018 at 03:05pm

YOUNG actors took to the stage to take part in a Battle of the Bards.

Year 7 to 11 students from Burnt Mill Academy, in Harlow, and Epping St John’s School, in Epping, indulged in Shakespeare to put on a joint production.

Burnt Mill students performed Henry IV before Epping St John’s students put on a version of Othello for the same audience in Epping.

Storylines were adapted, but the plots and language were kept true to Shakespeare.

Cristin Casey, director of performing arts for both BMAT schools, said: “We try to take learning of Shakespeare outside of just the language and bring the language to life through performance. The fact our children can sustain Shakespeare performances in this way is really special.

“Students should be engaging with Shakespeare; it’s a birth right and it enriches their lives. We are committed to providing these high-quality opportunities and enabling students to benefit from the value of live performance. The sense of pride of having an audience applaud you is something you don’t experience in any other walk of life and it is something special.”

Phil Watson, lead practitioner of drama, gave a speech about how language is power and that Shakespeare’s work is “beautiful”.

Stephen Hehir, executive head, said: “This is a great way for students to learn and live Shakespeare. Not only is this vital for their academic studies, but it is also important from a social aspect as it gives students confidence in their own performing abilities. Well done to all students concerned!”

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