QE boys will blossom in Macbeth

QE boys will perform an abridged version of Macbeth for this year's Shakespeare Schools Festival.

The team of 24 actors, technicians and marketing assistants from Years 9-12 have been working on a cut-down version of the play in readiness for a public performance next week.

They have worked alongside three other schools at a special drama workshop run by experienced actors and theatre technicians at The Abbey Theatre in St Albans. While others 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.

“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 are taking part, performing in 125 theatres across the UK.

The four 30-minute productions, including QE’s Macbeth, will be performed on Monday 14 October. “We would very much welcome support from family and friends,” added Ms Sweetman. Tickets are available at the theatre’s box office on 01727 857 861, or from www.abbeytheatre.org.uk.