Year 4's Midsummer Night's Dream
Thursday, 23 June 2016
To celebrate William Shakespeare’s work and his 400 year legacy, Year 4 pupils presented two assemblies based on one of his most famous comedies: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The pupils have been studying the play as part of their English and Drama learning. Working together in small groups, they challenged their thinking and interpretive skills to produce short devised scripts based on different scenes from the play. They considered the key points in each scene and how they could adapt these and bring in elements of comedy while also using Shakespeare’s original language. They came up with costumes and props to complete their efforts ready for their assembly performances. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and the learning experiences that came with it.
Both assemblies began with a brief summary of the plot before pupils presented their sketches. In just six short scenes, the girls managed to pack in most of the dramatic action from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
They showed the Mechanicals, a group of tradesmen who perform a play within the play; the origins of the feud between Oberon and Titania; the various hilarious and dramatic effects of the flower ‘love-in-idleness’, from causing Titania to fall in love with Bottom, who has the head of an ass, to causing both Lysander and Demetrius to love Helena; Puck’s trickery and his attempts to solve the problems he has inadvertently created; and finally, the resolution at the end of the play.
On both days, the performance ended with Puck reciting the famous lines: “If we shadows have offended, Think but this and all is mended, That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear.”
All of the girls did a wonderful job of ‘Sketching Shakespeare’ in front of an audience and their performances were a great way to celebrate the Bard’s 400 years.