“I saw Shakespeare in Morrisons last night” – so said the little brother of one our nine year old Pucks in Peterborough last week! Well he was sort of right – do you see the resemblance? And we were in Morrisons buying Dog Poo bags (another story……………). It made us laugh anyway!
This particular 9 year old Puck was a bit of a star as it turned out – not only did he have a really cheeky Puckish face (he was born to play the role) but he also jumped in to cover for a 7 year old Puck at the last moment. #Teamwork. 7 year old Puck had done a great job all week administering magic purple flower juice with a broken arm – the commitment of the children at Heritage Park Primary, Peterborough is exemplary. And trust me, there is some talent there too, Maybe it’s because many of the current crop have worked with us ever since they were in the Reception class (for a couple of years we ran interactive workshops for the Early Years and KS1 as well as KS2) but coming through now is some natural raw talent and lots and lots of enthusiasm for Shakespeare. Lovely! For Richard and me there were some very special moments and performances that will stick with us – two of which were in Year 3 (that’s 7 & 8 year olds for the uninitiated). Firstly Demetrius – opening the scene with Helena and a version of ‘Summer Nights’ with all the confidence and coolness of John Travolta – funny and completely natural for him! Then Oberon………occasionally we are lucky enough to work with a child whom, the second they open their mouth, blows us away. This Oberon had a wonderful voice, gave an effortless performance and was quite simply a star in the making should he choose this path in the future – but he’s only 7 so there’s plenty of time! There were many, many wonderful performances amidst the 120 actors, especially taking into consideration the content of the play. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, though one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies (and certainly popular in Primary Schools) is complicated. And it’s about love and fairies and involves people looking at and, god forbid, touching each other – not exactly cool, and frankly hugely embarrassing, when you are eleven going on teenager. But the Heritage Park actors are wily – they know it’s only a play, they know it’s not real, so they give it their best shot every time. That makes our job much easier and makes the whole week a much more memorable experience for them, us and their parents. Here are just a few of the comments from parents on our Facebook Page: