Year 10 have been studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth and we really hoped they would see it as the Bard intended – in performance!
Luckily, the Queen’s theatre in Hornchurch were staging the play… so we decided to take them along.
As we left Eastbrook School, the heavens opened – some would say ‘all great Neptune’s ocean’ decided to fall upon us. The ‘foul’ start to our trip seemingly reflected the pathetic fallacy in the opening scenes of Macbeth; fortunately, however, no witches with intriguing predictions accompanied our torrential rain.
Luckily the weather passed and we made our way to the theatre. For many students this was their first experience of a play in performance and they were treated to a good one.
At one point in the text, Macbeth compares the meaningless of life to ‘a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage,’ but our actors were far from poor. The porter scene was a stand-out moment, effectively demonstrating Shakespeare’s excellent use of comic relief to ease tension. Other key scenes were also brought to life, including Lady Macbeth’s manipulation, the murder of Duncan, and the Banquo-ghost scene.
Despite the 17th century language, our students knew the play well and could follow with ease: many recognised the key passages and could even ‘quote-along!’
The play may well be a tragedy, but our trip to the theatre certainly wasn’t.
It was definitely a ‘fair’ day!
We would like to thank Mrs O’Leary for organising the event.