English Department

Romeo And Juliet

RSC at Blackpool Grand Theatre. 29th February 2019

During the Spring half term, the Year 9 topic is War and Peace. As part of this topic we have studied “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare as it is full of “war” but not a lot of “peace”! Year 9 worked hard to read and understand the two fight scenes in the play: a riot on the streets of Verona, a double gang murder. We then completed a formal statement to the police imagining that we had been a witness to the crimes.

On the 29th February 2019, Mrs Royle, Mrs O Leary and Mr Nation with Year 9 and some KS4 pupils visited the Grand Theatre in Blackpool to watch a contemporary performance of the play by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Grand Theatre in Blackpool is an impressive Victorian theatre with beautiful architecture, decorated ceilings and a lot of stairs up to the area of the theatre called “the Gods” where we sat with a lot of other school groups. We were all impressed by the environment and talked about how different theatre is from a cinema trip!

The play was performed by young members of the Royal Shakespeare company and used the original language but was performed with modern staging which was quite minimalist but allowed us to focus on the characters and action. It was fantastic to see the play we had studied on the page, come to life in the theatre. It was also a surprise to see that the character of Mercutio was a woman and we discussed later whether it worked. We felt that it did.

As part of the day, we spent some time in Blackpool. We went on to the beach and explored the town, ending with the authentic experience of fish and chips by the seaside!! Although it was very cold, wet and foggy, we all enjoyed the trip and had a valuable experience watching words from a play written in the 1500s come to life in 2019 and still be interesting and exciting.

As a follow up to the trip, we have discussed themes from the play in PSHE such as gang violence, knife crime and healthy relationships. Who knew Shakespeare was so relevant to today?