Pupils from New Bewerley Community School in Beeston were part of a group of youngsters performing Shakespeare at the West Yorkshire Playhouse last Monday (14 July 2014).
The Year 4 children (aged 8-9) joined with others from Rufford Park and Horsforth Newlaithes primary schools to perform a story drawn from two of Shakespeare’s plays – The Tempest and Twelfth Night.
The children worked for a term with their teachers and staff from West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of the Primary Players: Shakespeare Festival 2014.
The production involved 130 pupils, the entire year group from each school. Some children had individual parts, other parts were taken by groups of children working together. All the lines were taken directly from Shakespeare and it’s a credit to the children that this didn’t seem to cause them any difficulty.
The children received a well-deserved standing ovation from friends, families and staff.
Primary Players is a long-term engagement project offering Leeds-based primary schools the opportunity to work with West Yorkshire Playhouse artists throughout the summer term. They stage a full scale collaborative production, alongside professional development training for teaching staff.
The pupils were the first to be awarded the Shakespeare Challenge Arts Award, accredited by the Royal Shakespeare Company and Trinity College London.
There are more opportunities for children to get involved at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Two summer schools will run in the holidays. Revolting Children is for children aged 7-10 and runs from Monday 28 July to Friday 1 August. Indian Summer will see 11-19 year olds creating their own Bollywood performance, it runs from Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 August. For more information call (0113) 213 7700.
In September a regular Youth Theatre Session will run on term-time Saturdays. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0113) 245 5252.