On the 17th of January, Miss Webb, Miss Pollett, Caleb Barker and Jack Lambshead went on a four day trip to the home of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon. The purpose of the trip was to complete a backstage work experience programme with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the four days were packed with things for us to see and do!
Caleb decided that the area that he wanted to work in was Stage Management; this meant that he had overview of the whole stage and performance - if something went wrong, Caleb was first point of call. He had to know what everyone else was doing, for example costume, prop and tech, and ensure that the show ran smoothly. To help Caleb truly understand what it means to be a stage manager, he was also able to shadow a stage manager back stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre during a performance of The Tempest.
Jack’s area was technical, which involved sounding and lighting. He had to design and create programmes for the performance, to ensure that the stage was lit to match the director’s vision. Jack had to run the lights throughout the performance, ensuring that cues were met and that the show ran smoothly.
The boys spent four days learning the craft and working with some of the leading experts within their two areas. The ultimate aim was for the students to create a performance of the Tempest, to be performed by RSC actors. The final product was a huge success and all of the students who participated should be incredibly proud of themselves.
In addition to everything that we learnt over the 4 days, we were also given some time to explore Stratford and the Shakespeare theatres. We had a guided tour, where we were lucky enough to visit the birth place of William Shakespeare, and the school he attended; we watched The Tempest at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; we visited a number of exhibitions and we participated in some drama workshops.
The trip was a truly amazing experience – the boys learnt a huge amount in just four days, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Thank you to the Royal Shakespeare Company for allowing us the opportunity to get to know the works of backstage a little more.