Year 10 GCSE Performing Arts pupils took part in the MANCEP (Manchester Catholic Education Partnership) Shakespeare Festival. The Festival involves eight Catholic High Schools and Loreto and Xaverian College and was held in the Ellis and Kennedy Theatre at Loreto College. Saint Paul’s brought an abridged version of Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to life with their wonderfully inspired performance directed by their teacher Mrs Ellie Cordwell.
The aim of the festival is to further develop the relationships with other Manchester Catholic high schools and sixth form colleges, engage pupils through an active way of learning and expand the young learners’ knowledge within the performing arts field. In preparing and performing the plays participants also learn about Shakespeare's language, themes and characters.
The GCSE Performing Arts pupils had been working on the play for nine weeks as part of their exam and spent the whole day at Loreto, rehearsing, before the performances in the evening, in front of a packed house of proud families, friends and teachers.
Each production used minimal set and costume to place emphasis on language and performance rather than set and design.
“Shakespeare’s delightful play provided an excellent platform to showcase the exceptional skills and talents of our pupils,” explained Mrs Cordwell, Assistant Headteacher at Saint Paul’s. “‘Romeo and Juliet fall passionately in love, but their families are sworn enemies. The Year 10 Performing Arts students gave a captivating performance bringing to life all the romance and tragedy of Shakespeare’s classic play. I am very proud of the work they created for their exam.”
Mr Adam Warburton, Head of Drama, added: “The MANCEP Shakespeare Festival is a great opportunity for all involved and has had a real positive impact on our own lessons, providing a significant ‘can do’ attitude and positivity towards aiming high.”
“I was very proud of the amazing performance by our pupils,” said Miss Tina Wilkinson, Deputy Headteacher at Saint Paul’s. “The event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the talent of young people and to extend the partnership that we have within MANCEP. Having had great feedback from Loreto College, I firmly believe that our pupils can aspire to do great things and are a credit to all the staff that teach them.”