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We took 8 boys, a volunteer and a mum to see an evening youth performance of The Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theatre. Being out in the city by the river is exciting enough for our boys, never mind then to get to enter one of the most amazing theatres in the world- a recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe. The boys entered wide eyed, some amazed there was actually no roof (they had been told this multiple times), they waved to people in the stalls and then bustled to get a spot right at the front of the stage. There was fun modern music playing, and the actors were milling around the stage, enjoying warming up with dance and interaction with the audience. Our Young Leaders began shouting and talking to some of the actors, showing off their knowledge of the story and it’s characters from their prep lessons. The actors were funny and friendly, the boys felt instantly at ease and asked for a selfie!
The play began with dance, and fun and quick stage changes. The boys were instantly drawn in, and didn’t seem to struggle with the language or even notice it. The performance was fast paced, funny and pitched excellently for young people. While they perhaps didn’t follow every speech completely, and found the plot a bit confusing, they were able to grasp and more importantly enjoy the story. The use of pop music, movement, funny costumes, modern references and more helped the boys to stay completely entranced for the 90 minute performance, despite standing in the cold, and even withstanding a bit of drizzle in the last 10 minutes.
The boys buzzed with excitement the whole way home, which included a debate on whether a man could or should really tame a violent woman!
Here are some quotes from the young leaders themselves about what they thought of the play:

“ It was an amazing experience!”
“I liked everything, they were very funny”
“I liked when the main character got a beating!”
“It was interesting and I learnt and understood Shakespearean English!”

What they thought about The Globe:
“It is awesome! I would love to go again”
“The design is excellent”
“It looked old school”

How it changed their minds about Shakespeare:
“Before I thought Shakespeare was a boring old man who wrote stories for girls, now I think his plays are magnificent and they bring out your emotions which is very good”
“Before I thought Shakespeare was boring and only romance. Now I know he does comedy as well”
“Now I love Shakespeare and will always love Shakespeare”

All our boys said they would not get to go and see these type of plays without this programme.

Southside Young Leaders' Academy

 

54 Camberwell Road
London, SE5 0EW
020 7701 9055
info@syla.org.uk

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