LITERATURE’S most famous star-struck lovers entranced an audience of Langholm Academy pupils on their theatre trip to Glasgow.
They attended a performance of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.
The pupils, comprising mainly seniors and S3, watched an exciting contemporary production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy.
For most of them this was their first experience of watching a live performance, particularly attending a play by Shakespeare.
Apart from the seniors, who have studied the play as part of their work for Higher and National 5 exams this year, the remaining pupils were going in with only a general understanding of the plot, leaving them open to the impact of the live interpretation.
The production was challenging because the set was minimal and the relatively young cast of players’ performance was fast-paced, as was the delivery of the lines.
The younger pupils found the language difficult to follow but clearly enjoyed the action on the stage and were able to follow the plot.
Senior pupils were able to connect with the dialogue and appreciate the staging and superb performances of the talented cast.
One unique aspect of this production was the directorial decision to bring diversity to the casting of characters to represent our society today and the complex differences which exist within it.
With fewer parts for women in the play, director Erica Whyman cast a number of female actors for a selection of the traditionally male roles.
At the time Shakespeare wrote the drama, about 400 years ago, all the roles were played by males so this modern approach to casting is long overdue.
The pupils were asked to complete a brief evaluation on the trip to help inform staff of their thoughts and feelings about their theatre experience.
Here are some of the comments they gave when asked whether they enjoyed the production.
“It was good because it was a unique modern take on Romeo and Juliet.”
“I enjoyed most of it because of the energy and enthusiasm of the actors. However, some of the language was hard to understand.”
Did you enjoy the experience being in the Theatre Royal, Glasgow? What did you like best?
“Yes, I did enjoy the experience, especially when we first arrived and we were able to look around the foyer and the rooftop terrace.”
“I would like to attend another performance sometime. I would like to see Hamilton, Macbeth and A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”
Christine Ford, English teacher, said: “As ever, the pupils conducted themselves well, representing Langholm Academy in a positive way.
“It was clear to staff how much they enjoyed the experience by the way they engaged with us in lively discussion, sharing their ideas and asking questions.
“We would like to thank the trustees of the Bowman Little Trust fund and the Holywood Trust for their unstinting support for this cultural trip.”