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Year 8 students at Blackheath High were gripped by mania in the build up to this year’s Equinox, with their polished open-air performance of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’
After a month of reading and studying, the roles for the performance were allocated on the day of the performance (Tuesday 20th June). This left only a day to piece together and to practise one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays. Thankfully, the Year 8 students were undaunted and eager to take on this task.
In preparation for the production, our Drama, Music and English Teachers ran a variety of witty and wonderful workshops on the day to inspire us and practise our roles, starting with the aptly named 'Midsummer Madness Workshop'.
I was one of 14 musicians selected to add the finishing touches to the play. My favourite part was playing the percussion to add comedy to the Mechanicals' disastrous rehearsal of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’. Under the expert supervision and encouragement of Mrs E Gunton and Ms R Smith, we learned all our songs and pieced together all of the music with confidence. After the music workshop, we prepared our stage in our Outdoor Classroom and after a quick run through, we were ready.
The final performance ran amazingly well; no lines were missed and, unlike the course of true love, it ran smoothly. Our Head, Mrs Chandler-Thompson, and many other teachers came to watch and their laughter supported us through the performance on one of the hottest days of the year.
My highlight was the final performance of the ‘Dumb show’ played by Bottom and the Mechanicals. Our musical accompaniment made this even more hilarious as they marched in.
I would like to thank all of the English, Music and Drama teachers who made this extraordinary day possible, especially Ms Meadows, who took charge of the production and brought it up to such a high standard. This was the best production I have ever taken part in, even though staging a play from scratch in a day was surely Midsummer Madness!