On Friday evening I saw the school’s production of Macbeth. Once again I was astounded by the power and strength of student actors in the extraordinarily demanding roles this complex and passionate play provides. As one parent remarked to me afterwards: they are so young and yet they seem to be living the emotions and experiences of adults caught in an appalling human tragedy of greed and revenge. This is the power of Shakespearean drama, and why taking part in a demanding piece of drama of this sort is potentially such a transformative experience for young people – it takes them outside and beyond themselves and gives them something they remember potentially all their lives. Of course it also gives the chance for young people of different ages and backgrounds to come together in a tremendous team undertaking where literally every person has an indispensible role to play – that is a real life lesson.
Of course, it would never happen without not only visionary and imaginative directing and sheer perseverance and hard work. The more demanding the piece, the more relentlessly the cast need to be pushed by their director, but the more also they stand to gain from the experience. Two years after her triumphant production of Romeo and Juliet I can honestly say that our drama teacher Mrs Greaves (formerly Miss Lenihan), supported by Miss Kahwati and other colleagues, has done it again – after months of hard work and all the ups and downs of a big production, Macbeth was a triumph. Huge thanks to all involved, and warm congratulations to the cast for a magnificent performance.