Fake News is all the rage nowadays – everyone is doing it. But few have done it with more aplomb than Year 6 at St Bartholomew’s Academy, Coventry.
With live reports from Prospero’s island, the anchor man in the studio of ‘Milan Today’ kept everyone up to date with the latest ‘fake’ news, as KS2’s production of ‘The Tempest’ reached its conclusion.
And all this, despite a power cut earlier in the performance, which killed the lights, back projection and music for two scenes performed by Year 3. But were the 48 seven and eight year olds fazed? Not in the least! These ‘dark times’ (ah now the headline makes sense!) were embraced by the rest of the 180 strong cast and full house too – the black out blinds were lifted, community singing of the ‘Lasagne Song’ ensued and the spirit of the Blitz prevailed! Thankfully the power was restored in time for Year 5’s Caliban and co to give their rendition of ‘I want to break free’ and for the pure romance of ‘When a man loves a woman’ as Year 4’s Ferdinand endlessly chopped logs whilst Miranda looked on…..aaaahhh!!!!
How much of this is true and how much is ‘Fake News’? It’s ALL TRUE! Even the ‘fake news’ was genuine! It was, without doubt, a magical week in a school we know well now – this was our fourth annual visit. We have worked with the Year 6 children since they were in Year 3 and they are now heading off to secondary school with four Shakespeare plays under their belts (Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest). But more than that, they are moving on with confidence, courage, self-belief and self-worth. FINDING THE WILL can’t take the credit for this – that is down to the caring, nurturing nature of the school and warm, friendly staff – but we’d like to think we’ve played a small part in helping them to blossom, not to mention bringing some magic into these children’s lives.
We are looking forward to returning to St Bart’s next year. Whether it will be a tragedy (Romeo & Juliet) or a comedy (Twelfth Night) remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, we can’t wait to ‘Shake Up Shakespeare’ again with all the courageous actors in this inspiring school.