On the evening of Wednesday 15th November, a cast of passionate young Thespians from  CIS Primary School performed an abridged version of Hamlet at the Mumford theatre, Cambridge, to a sell-out crowd. The performance was part of the National Schools’ Shakespeare Festival, where over 30,000 children unite in different venues around the country in the UK’s largest drama festival.

Months of preparation culminated in exhilarating performances by our students, stunning parents, teachers and friends alike, with their confident and masterful interpretations of this English masterpiece. To tackle such a demanding Shakespeare production was an amazing achievement for any child of this age, but to see so many of them perform in their second language was a truly astounding.  Each and every performer put their heart and soul into the production, and the many hours they had spent rehearsing, practising, learning lines and blocking scenes was evident.

Principal Mrs Philipps Mills commented, “The festival was a wonderful way of introducing drama, and particularly Shakespeare, to Primary children, as I believe that instilling a love of reading is one of the most important things that we can do for a child.  Together with the creativity involved in acting out a story to an audience, thinking about expression, tone of voice and the creation of atmosphere, the overall effect of the evening was one of absolute magic, creating a sublime learning experience for all involved.”

Many of the children commented about how much they enjoyed the experience of performing to an audience and the confidence that they have gained.  They were also thrilled to be given the opportunity to perform in a professional theatre and to learn about how the lighting and sound add to the atmosphere of the production.

Rebecca (Ophelia) said “At the start, I was really scared because I had to sing on stage. After I performed I was super happy, and wanted to do it again!”

We congratulate all of the performers and are very much looking forward to next year’s production.


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