Fresh take on an old Shakespeare classic

Director of Drama, Connor Abbott, pays tribute to the cast and crew of Macbeth after months of hard reaped their reward with three dazzling performances of this Middle School Production at the Lund Theatre.

Acclaimed and reputed director Sam Mendes once wrote, “Treat every Shakespeare as if it were a new play”. This term’s Middle School Production of ‘the Scottish play’ attested to the wisdom of this advice, as the company’s boldly stark and sophisticated interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic work stunned audiences with its freshness and clear storytelling.

It is common and understandable for young actors to disengage with Shakespeare; his language is unfamiliar, his rhythms are complex and, to be blunt … these dramas over 400 years old! It was so refreshing, therefore, to witness a cast of pupils, aged 13–17, perform his work with such confidence, alertness and maturity. The company’s command of the text served as compelling evidence that Shakespeare should not just be studied by pupils – but also performed.

The production’s clarity was also testimony to the work of director and teacher of Drama, Michael Taktak, who made his directorial debut at UCS with this assured and visually striking take on Macbeth.

The production was accompanied by a live band, with an original score composed by Year 10 pupil Joseph Sainsbury whose impressive work lent it a suitably eerie atmosphere; one that was further enhanced by the exceptional lighting and set design of Martin Hutching and Carys Bedford.

With a sold-out final night, the experience of this Middle School Production of Macbeth will no doubt be long remembered by everyone involved.

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