Maidstone pupils put up Shakespeare street performance
THERE were some dramatic scenes at the bandstand in Maidstone's Fremlin Walk shopping centre this afternoon as two local schools performed a combination of Shakespeare plays.
For the last few months, pupils from Valley Park and Maplesden Noakes schools have been working with theatre company Fluid Motion to create shortened versions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.
"We were practising almost every day for the last month", 16-year old Amber Dozin said. "At first I was a bit scared to perform, but once you get into it, you forget about your nerves."
15-year old Ryan Clark, who played Romeo, said he felt the role was quite intimidating at first. "It's quite demanding. To perform well, you have to get into a dark place. The girl that played Juliet is a good friend of mine. It's challenging to imagine her dying and stuff. I recently had to deal with grief in my personal life so it brought a lot of things back."
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However he felt it was a great experience to be involved in the street performance. "The workshops we had really helped us a lot. We learned so many different acting techniques."
"The purpose is to make Shakespeare accessible for young people", Leigh Johnstone, 23, artistic director at Fluid Motion said. "You can teach them about Shakespeare in schools but by doing this street performance in the local town we hope youngsters are really engaging with Shakespeare's work."