Last Friday the Year 8s were treated to an afternoon of Romeo and Juliet with a difference: Box Clever Theatre Company presented an exciting but very accessible workshop on the Shakespearean tragedy which the Y8s are currently studying in their English curriculum. With only 3 actors and in less than an hour and a half they managed to act out all the key scenes, unravel the plot and make the themes and ideas relevant. More importantly, the pupils were gripped from the start by the energy of the performers. It was thrilling to see Shakespeare presented in such a current and imaginative way. I think the Bard himself would have approved!
From the very beginning this was probably one of the most engaging performances I have ever seen. There was trendy music, street dance and the ‘attitude’ of a youthful company clearly related to a younger audience.
It began with the balcony scene which, although not true to the play, raised the awareness of the focus on the ‘young’ couple, and how they met, the speed at which they fell in love, married and consummated their relationship. This gave the children an opportunity to place the romantic tragedy in an Elizabethan context and then compare it with today’s modern dilemmas.
In terms of memorability the players gave touching renditions of the most important scenes and delivered lines that the children may then remember and be able to use in future assignments, which of course is why the company is called ‘BoxClever’.
“I really liked the way the characters were portrayed by the actors. It was interesting to see the play performed by only three people. The introduction of a narrator was an effective twist.” Eli 8AM
“Romantic but heart breaking…” Yutong 8AM
“I really enjoyed the play and it really helped me understand Shakespeare properly by visualising it.” Abigail 8AM
“I really enjoyed the production because it had a modern twist on it. They had engaging music at the beginning and it put the love story into clear perspective as a story that could last across time.” Summer 8JI
“I enjoyed the play because of the contrast between each of the characters.” Jacob 8RG
“I really liked the fact that the play was simple yet contained everything that we needed to know. The fact that it was performed ‘in the round’ meant that they included the entire audience. The space was used very creatively.” Leyla 8VR
“I liked how they presented Shakespeare’s thoughts very well and they did it a way that engaged the audience. It was how I imagined it to be played at The Globe in the Elizabethan era, where I was part of the action.” Sofia 8JC