Bell Shakespeare Incursion

Wednesday, 08 June 2022

Bell Shakespeare Incursion 

BDC had the pleasure of hosting the Bell Shakespeare Players who put on an action-packed performance of “Shakespeare is Dead” for Year 7 on Friday, 27 May.

The hour-long play, written by Joanna Erskine, follows a group of teenagers who embark on a journey of asking the ultimate question – Shakespeare is long dead so why are we still performing his plays? It features a smorgasbord of Shakespeare, from romance to tragedies to histories to comedies.

This incursion was a fantastic way to introduce students to a host of Shakespeare’s characters, explore some of his most iconic scenes, plot devices, language techniques, iambic pentameter and even learn about the world Shakespeare was from.

The show was a great success, the students remained engaged throughout the performance and followed up with a plethora of questions for the actors. The incursion was an ideal taster of Shakespeare, a collection of his ‘best bits’ and a wonderful way to blow all those stereotypical ideas about Shakespeare out of the water.

Here are some comments from students:

Tristan:  The Bell Shakespeare performance from Friday week 5 where all of year 7 watched was very entertaining for multiple reasons. One, because it was very funny. Two, because it was well made, and three, because I liked the actors. On the latter of the three reasons, I believe that the performers (of which there were 3) were very well versed in what they were doing, which was somehow getting a bunch of year 7 students to enjoy something about Shakespeare, a very hard task. For the few people who have actually read a book without pictures in year 7, I still learned a large amount about Shakespeare and his stories. Probably the biggest thing I learned was that you pronounce the river Thames as temz. In all I think it was a performance that I greatly underestimated, thinking it would be a dull old guy speaking gibberish, but it gave me a pleasant surprise that soon turned to actual interest in the performance.

Isobel:  The Bell Shakespeare show happened last Friday. The whole of year 7 gathered in the theatre. The show went from the start of period 5 to the end of the day. I found the show very entertaining because the actors kept changing the storyline and it was never boring. The performers were fairly prepared and never stopped to think they just kept acting. I think everyone learnt a lot about Shakespeare plays like how if there were royal characters that died in the play they would “die” backstage because it was considered disrespectful to them. Also how in older times if there were prisoners that needed to be punished they would be killed on stage as characters. Overall it was very fun to watch and a great way to teach kids.

Yash:  Last Friday we watched a performance by the Bell Shakespeare company called ‘Shakespeare Is Dead’. All of year 7 watched them perform in the theatre. The performance was very very entertaining because they used a lot of humour. In the performance, Tom used a lot of different voices which were very funny. They also did a lot of funny things like when they were telling us how people were murdered in Shakespeare’s plays an they said that some people were stabbed, some people were poisoned and some people were stabbed and poisened. This part was very funny because they showed us with a fake sword and goblet and it was quite funny. I found that the play was very well prepared. They knew exactly what to say and do and even when they had to improvise, it looked as though it was scripted. I learnt a lot about Shakespeare from the performance. Before the performance, I didn't know anything about Shakespear. Every single part of the play taught me something new about Shakespeare. Overall, the Bell Shakespeare company performance of ‘Shakespeare Is Dead’ was a very interesting performance. I found it very entertaining and I liked it a lot.