South Shields children bring Shakespeare to the stage

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Children from a South Shields school have been bringing Shakespeare to the stage.

The youngsters from St Gregory’s RC JMI School, in Harton House Road East, have been learning about the Bard’s work as part of their literacy work.

The children, from Year 6, then staged a production of Romeo and Juliet the Musical, with a helping hand from the Year 5 choir.

Elaine Carrahar, from the school, said the children coming into Year 6 always looked forward to the challenge of Shakespeare, and the productions contained a lot of the original Shakespeare language.

Last year, pupils at the school tackled Macbeth, and next year, it will be the turn of Hamlet to be seen on stage.

The school has been staging Shakespeare productions for 12 years, and previous performances have included Twelfth Night, A Midsummer’s Dream and The Tempest.

The children staged two dress rehearsals watched by the rest of the school, and then staged two performances lasting 1 hour 30 minutes for parents,

The shows were staged with two different casts.

Romeo and Juliet was last performed at the school five years ago and three former pupils returned to the school to see the latest production, including the girl who played Juliet last time.

The show included several dance routines on a rock and roll theme.

Elaine added the parents were always very impressed with the high standard of the children’s performances, with all the soloists snging up to four parts each.

Children as young as Reception and upwards become familiar with seven of The Bard’s plays as they move through the school.