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Primary school pupils stage Shakespeare festival

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 April 2016 | UPDATED: 11:39 20 April 2016

Eloise Wickens as a punk rock version of Richard III

Eloise Wickens as a punk rock version of Richard III

Archant

The pupils performed three of the Bard's best-loved works

A primary school in Welling held a Shakespeare festival this week to mark the Bard’s 400th anniversary.

Pupils from Bishop Ridley Primary School performed three of the playwright’s best-loved works: Macbeth, Julius Caesar and Richard III.

The school claims that no project of this magnitude has ever been undertaken by a primary school before - and the pupils, some of whom are just eight years old, appear to have relished it.

Deputy headteacher Jennie Chapman, who is acting as teacher-director, said: “They have responded brilliantly; they call it a life-changing experience.

“It is better to learn like this rather than sat behind desks. It has had a huge impact on the children in terms of their academic work, and the children who do this get better grades across the board”

Eloise Wickens, from Year 4, who plays Richard III, said: “It is really enjoyable and we have such great teachers to help us. I really enjoy the acting parts.

“I am a bit nervous but I am looking forward to it.”

Her older sister Isobel, who plays Cassius in Julius Caesar, added: “When I am acting I like it when I speak, but I prefer acting as you can move around the stage more.”

The plays use Shakespeare’s original scripts but narrators have been added to explain what is going on, and they have been abridged to avoid some content that would be unsuitable for children.

The festival, which was hosted by Townley Grammar School in Bexleyheath, took place on April 18 and 19 at 7.30pm.

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