That’s an insult!
Thou artless, boil-brained applejohn!
Thou reeky, plume-plucked malt-worm!
If every Year 8 English class at Glen Waverley was to start off with paired-up students yelling Shakespearean insults at each other, it’s hard to see how much work would get done. But that’s just what happened in the 2021 Standing Up for Shakespeare class, and for class member Zahra Aly, experiencing this special program has been ‘amazingly beneficial’. Under the tutelage of Head of Student Theatre David Dunn, they developed numerous skills, rehearsed and performed a Shakespearean play, and learnt to analyse and understand Shakespearean language.
Their big project this year was to rehearse and perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Zahra describes the play as ‘full of romance, wonder and magic. As the supernatural world interferes with the natural world chaos emerges, and it results in the ultimate comedy’.
Fortunately, early in Term 3 before the big lockdown hit, the class managed to find a perfect window of opportunity and their performances at the Athenaeum Theatre went ahead with minimal restrictions. Says David: ‘After months of rehearsal, text analysis and detailed role creation, each cast had minimal preparation in the new acting space. However, this presented little obstacle to an evening of two superb performances. The cohort was arguably the finest in the 10 years that the class has been running.’
Reflecting on the production, Zahra says, ‘The set was amazing, it was full of bright lights, trees, flowers and a gorgeous backdrop to complete the look. Not to mention the impeccable costumes and makeup that we got to have… Both casts performed with full intensity, and the hilarious mechanics had the audience in tears of laughter each time they entered the stage. Everyone enjoyed performing what we had worked so hard on.’