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Work Bard, Play Bard 2016

We're delighted to be hosting eight Merseyside and Cheshire schools at the Everyman next week as part of our Shakespeare festival for schools.

Now in its second year, Work Bard, Play Bard celebrates the creativity of schools by providing them with the stimulus of a Shakespeare play and, after an initial workshop, allowing them to artistically explore the piece and produce their own work to showcase on the Everyman stage. The performances will be taking place on Tuesday 12 July, a matinee at 3pm and an evening performance at 7.30pm. We are inviting the public to see the array of talent emerging from local schools.

Work Bard, Play Bard 2015 based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Work Bard, Play Bard 2015 based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Globe Theatre’s visit to the Playhouse with The Merchant of Venice inspired us to take the world of Shakespeare’s famous play as a springboard and starting point for this year’s festival.

We launched the 2016 project in March with the eight ensembles of 11-18, from a variety of schools across Merseyside and Cheshire, coming together at the Everyman and taking part in workshops aimed at developing the pupil’s understanding of the play.

Within the workshops, we focused on the different settings in the play: the cut-throat, business world of Venice, the capital commerce in its time, and then Belmont, a place of romance and festivity. The students reflected on these different ‘worlds’ as well as the major themes of justice, mercy, love, revenge and intolerance. From the workshop, they were then sent off with the challenge of devising their own piece of theatre using a theme of their choice as a starting point.

Pupils at the initial Work Bard, Play Bard 2016 workshop
Pupils at the initial Work Bard, Play Bard 2016 workshop

From the outset, the staff and pupils have worked incredibly hard in creating eight unique and imaginative pieces with a wide range of genres. Throughout the process, we have provided guidance and expertise from visiting drama practitioners – however, the real talent and creativity has emerged from rehearsals due to the enthusiasm and commitment of the staff and pupils. Through using a theme from the play as a stimulus, they have been able to create thought-provoking performances which reflect the ability of these young people to engage with issues that continue to challenge us today.

Pupils at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy & Calday Grammar Schools in rehearsal
Pupils at Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy & Calday Grammar Schools in rehearsal

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to see some new, inspiring work created by young theatre makers from the local area.

Tickets are £7 / £3 concessions and are available online or via Box Office on 0151 709 4776.

"Following my involvement in last year’s event based on the Everyman’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream it was a privilege yet again to be involved in an exciting project that engages with students and allows them access to professional theatre and its resources. The project began with a workshop that introduces the world of the play and it was so refreshing to work with students who so enthusiastically responded to the ideas and themes from The Merchant of Venice. The students, in rehearsal, have discovered their own sense of the play and also engaged with the themes which are so relevant to us all today. Their work suggest they have a lot to share and we have a lot to learn." Nick Bagnall, e&P Associate Director

Participating Schools:
Academy of St Francis of Assisi
Bluecoat School
Calday Grammar School
Halewood Academy
Helsby High School
Malbank School & Sixth Form
Ormiston Bolingbroke Academy
St Julie’s High School