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‘The Winter’s Tale’ Trip to the RSC As part of the A2 English literature course, we are studying Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’. To help our understanding of this play, our wonderful teachers organized an incredible day to Shakespeare’s very own Stratford. The day was spent with people who helped work on the play, who researched it and acted in it. Afterwards, we saw a performance of the play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. We began our day with a workshop with a voice coach. He ran us through some exercises, using one of Hermione’s speeches, to help us really listen to the words and pinpoint exactly why they are so powerful. These were the same exercises that he used with the actors of the evening’s performance during the months of rehearsals. Although some of the exercises were a bit bizarre, we all went from reading out the speech in a monotone, to passionately enunciating each word with as much emotion as we could muster. If this is what the actors had been through, we could expect a very passionate performance later that evening. For our next workshop, a member of the RSC's educational staff got us focusing on the theme of Leontes’ jealousy. We looked at all of the possible causes of his jealousy, and even acted out a few scenes. Following lunch, two lecturers gave a presentation on the historical context of the play. The final workshop of the day was definitely the highlight. All of the groups got together, and we went to the theatre to talk with the director and the actors playing Florizel and Perdita. The actors talked about their characters, and what they were feeling at various points of the play. They talked about them like they were real people, which definitely brought the play to life for us. After a busy day, we were ready for the play. Safe to say it didn’t disappoint! It was really amazing to see the things we had spoken, acted and discussed put into action by the very talented cast of the RSC. It was over all too soon. We would highly recommend that future students who are doing this play take part in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ workshop, if it is available. Even if it isn’t, try and attend as many theatre performances of any drama texts of the theme you are studying, because seeing it how the playwright intended it to be seen, really does improve your understanding. By Eleanor Broome & Alice Morrey, Year 13

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The Henrician (2013)  

The Henrician (2013)