National Shakespeare Schools Festival 2016

15 Nov 2016

The school was again honoured to be part of the 2016 National Shakespeare Schools Festival. This year saw a new venue for the cast – the Lincoln Drill Hall – and a packed audience enjoyed performances from 4 schools, of which Witham Hall was one. Each school performs an abridged version of a Shakespeare play, culminating in an appraisal of each from a professional performer. The Witham Hall cast performed Macbeth.

A process that had begun with auditioning and casting across Years 7 & 8 back in the Trinity term had increasingly taken shape over the course of this term, and most recently had incorporated familiarisation with the theatre. The 25 strong cast, plus sound and lighting technician Lulie Pumphrey, then spent all day on Wednesday (16/11) with the other schools at the theatre, putting the final touches to their performances with professional support - a wonderful experience.

The evening was a tremendous success. Lincoln Minster and Burton Hathow took to the stage in the first half, and after the interval Kesteven and Sleaford. That meant the Witham Hall cast were last to perform! From the very first moment the performance, both individually and collectively, captured the audience, the clarity of diction and expression being underpinned by clever costumes, sound and lighting. The story was delivered with both meaning and great understanding, the cast showing maturity beyond their years. A rapturous round of applause reflected the appreciation of the audience, likewise reflected in the praise and highly positive feedback that followed in the professional critique. Here again, both the clarity of the spoken word and the technical accuracy was highlighted.

It was, simply, a first class performance, to which every singly member of the cast contributed significantly, whatever their role. The experience of the whole process, from start to finish, has been highly rewarding and enriching for the cast. Thank you to Mrs Holland and Ms Forbes, and for their support to Mrs Williams, Mrs Howells and Mrs Armitage. Well done to everybody involved – it made for a very proud evening for us!

Mr & Mrs Welch