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The Young Shakespeare Company’s performance of Macbeth: magnificent, mind-blowing and mesmerising.

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Laid out like a theatre in the round, Clifton school’s Performance Hall hosted an exceptional version of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth on Friday 3rd May.  It was an incredibly humourous performance, which kept the Year 10 audience riveted from start to finish.  It didn’t disappoint any of us, inter-mingling comedic moments with the challenging language of Macbeth and transporting all of us to the valleys of Jacobean Scotland.  

Highlights of the performance were the truly enthralling Fresh Prince of Bel Air Rap, which was generated from student ideas and brought to life the story of Macbeth in rap style.  The talented actor shouted, ‘Drop me a fat beat!’ and then dazzled all of us with his outstanding rap. We were all impressed with how quickly he created a Macbeth rap, which has stuck in people’s heads – great preparation for our end of Year 10 exams.  

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In addition, we all enjoyed the insight into the tricks of stage fighting and another helpful part of the performance was the translation of Macbeth’s soliloquy into modern English.  The actors from the Young Shakespeare Company also used a clap to stop the action during key scenes and allow characters to express their thoughts and motivations. This was particularly helpful and informative, reinforcing our understanding of characters.  Now we can really relate to what Macbeth meant when he said, ‘vaulting ambition which o’er leaps itself’ and we have been encouraged to consider how the witches should be presented. In the performance, they were portrayed as children, playing games with Macbeth and gradually growing in evil throughout the play.

Alongside the entertainment, this production encouraged audience interaction, so we were all glued to the action on stage.  We were hit with a long list of key quotes (which we need for our exams) but this was not overwhelming, as the actors chose to focus on important scenes from the play, which could be easily remembered.

Overall, this bundle of laughter and enjoyment was a great conclusion to the week and has kept our knowledge of Macbeth really fresh.  The play was educational, inspiring and informative; we would recommend that this is an annual event for Year 10. ‘When shall we three meet again, in thunder lightening or in rain? When the hurlyburly’s done, when the battles lost and won!’  If every group of students get a chance to see this performance, we are certain that they will win the battle to achieve good GCSE grades and be able to do a brilliant response to the Macbeth question. This performance by the Young Shakespeare Company was an amazing experience that the Year 10 class of 2019 will never forget!

Written by 10En1

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Last week we celebrated National World Book Day in style.  Our festivities included a Reading Relay of classics, such as George Orwell’s 1984 and Anne Frank’s Diary; competitions such as a literary treasure hunt and review writing; showings of films and an opportunity for students to see staff metamorphose into their favourite book characters.  The corridors of Clifton were filled with Maleficent, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Queen of Hearts, The Wicked Witch of the West and a plethora of colourful characters. Students loved asking questions about the stories and spotting their favourite protagonists.

In addition, Curriculum Support transformed their classrooms into Wonderland and they held a Mad Hatter’s tea party to raise money for charity.  Teachers had tirelessly decorated their doors so they looked like book covers, with a splendid effort from Mr Fisher who showed his artistic skills in recreating the cover of Peter Benchley’s ‘Jaws’.

Throughout the week in English lessons student have been completing reading tasks linked to the topics they have studied, for example activities around the lyrics of Liverpool songs to complement their study of Willy Russell’s play ‘Our Day Out’.  They have also had additional opportunities to visit the library and see how they can use this excellent facility in their learning.

All of these activities have been geared towards raising the profile of reading in school and highlighting to students the school vision:  Read to succeed. Read for purpose. Read for pleasure. Read for power.


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