QE boys excel in ‘the Scottish play’

QE boys successfully performed an abridged version of Macbeth at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

The team of 24 actors, technicians and marketing assistants from Years 9-12 had prepared alongside three other schools at a special drama workshop run by experienced actors and theatre technicians as part of this year’s Shakespeare Schools Festival. While the other schools chose King Lear, Henry V and The Tempest, QE selected Macbeth, renowned for its psychological study of the corrosive effects of ambition, betrayal and guilt. Each of the four plays was abridged to a 30-minute production.

“The workshop provided the boys with an excellent range of techniques and tips to improve their performance skills,” said Head of English, Susannah Sweetman. “These included the visually spectacular techniques of ‘withering’ – where actors slowly melt to the ground as though dying, after a battle, for instance – and ‘blossoming’ – where they slowly stand up and grow like a tree.”

""The Shakespeare Schools Festival is the UK's largest youth drama festival. It aims to give young people “the opportunity to engage with their cultural heritage, their education and their future” by performing Shakespeare in professional theatres. This year, around 1,000 schools took part, performing in 125 theatres across the UK