Royal Shakespeare Company Workshop
Royal Shakespeare Company Workshop by Archie Allen
On the 6th of February, 30 students from Tavistock College, took part in a drama workshop with Sophie Hobson from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The company are currently touring their Graffiti Ghanaian twist on ‘Hamlet’, so the workshop itself drew from many aspects from the play. We were encouraged to just completely let ourselves go of all reserve and as a result we all threw themselves into the vocal, physical and mental warm ups and the exercises that followed. These exercises all revolved around Hamlet, whether it be script, plot or theme focused. After warm up, the group worked to create several freeze frames reducing down the plot of Hamlet, from a happy family, to the death of a father and the subsequent twists of the tale. We utilized script from Hamlet’s opening monologue, memorizing lines and portraying our concept on the meaning behind them. After experimenting with text and language form, we had a chance to create and perform the argument between Hamlet and his mother, Gertrude. We played with the way we performed it, using different techniques to convey a variety if emotions, spinning the scene whichever way we were asked to, for instance having to perform an otherwise tense scene in an ecstatic manor or repeating key phrases from another character. All in all the group partaking in the mentally and physically energetic workshop thoroughly enjoyed it, as each of us took away something interesting that we had learnt from the experience. Two days later, with a further 20 students, we then went to see Hamlet at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, which was by many accounts an incredible, memorable piece of theatre, that we would all highly recommend anyone to go and see.
Under the excellent guidance of Mrs Vanessa McCarty, students who took LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Drama Art) examinations at Tavistock College just before Christmas not only maintained the College’s 100% pass rate but exceeded it by every student gaining a Distinction! Mrs Pearson, Head of Creative Arts is delighted with the results; ‘These qualification results reflect hard work, rigorous rehearsal and a real depth of understanding in their area by the students – we are very proud of them Currently 35 students across years 7 through to 13 partake in LAMDA lessons with Mrs McCarty, stretching and challenging themselves in a range of areas from Public Speaking to Mime, Reading for Performance to Speaking of Verse and Prose. We are very pleased to be able to offer these opportunities to all students – not just those taking Drama as an option subject – as part of the wider curriculum at the college.’
Holly Kellock Year 13 House Captain for Bedford said, ‘I am very proud that I got a Distinction in Grade 8 mime; LAMDA has developed me as a person and performer and is a qualification highly respected by universities. I gained 30 UCAS points towards my application’
Tom Gourd, who achieved an impressive 98% in his exam said ‘I took LAMDA because it helps with confidence, it is great fun and it expands your communication and social skills as well as your drama skills. Lamda can open new opportunities to you not just taking exams and learning new drama skills but also being able to perform not just in shows but also in presentations and interviews, showing confidence to get involved in any situation’