September 24, 2021

A Trip to the Theatre

From the page, to a performance by Ian McKellan at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Upper Sixth have been studying Shakespeare’s classic tale of madness, revenge and death; Hamlet.

“The trip was a wonderful return to live theatre and an incredible opportunity for us to see some of the most renowned actors of a generation perform perhaps the greatest play of all time – all just inches away.” commented Head of Teaching & Learning, Jenny Powlesland.

Described as a “reimagined age, colour and gender-blind production”, the play not only evoked sympathy in students but developed their character and plot analyses as they watched Shakespeare’s words be brought to life by a talented company.

Following the outing on Thursday 23rd September, Camilla reflected, “In my opinion the most dramatically effective scene was when Ophelia came on stage, crying with her hair cut short and trying to sing despite her sobs after she has learnt of her father’s murder. Ophelia experiences a collapse of character, she goes from the dignified, albeit rather innocent young lady with grace and kindness at heart to a broken, torn down girl who is the ruins left behind after her father’s death at Hamlet’s hands.”

She continued “The reason I found this scene to be the most dramatically effective is because it’s the first scene where Ophelia is the main voice: she cuts off the King and Queen, and in the production her songs go from melodious to much more rock in style, reflecting the change of her character.”

However, for Chris, the pinnacle of the play followed Ophelia’s death. “I think the most dramatic scene was the scene after Ophelia had died when her brother was talking with Hamlet’s father in law. This scene was especially dramatic because the actor playing Ophelia’s brother was very strong and he was able to create a very emotional and dramatic scene due to the contrast between his powerful voice and his soft tears.”

Alex said of Sir Ian McKellan, “he brought the audience on side and I sympathised with the character of Hamlet very much. The most dramatic scene for me was most definitely the last scene: in the final moments of the play, death and destruction plagued the stage to a frightful and rapid extent.”

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