Students visit The Globe
Students from WHSB went 'unto the breach' on Saturday 20 July to watch Shakespeare's classic, Henry V, at The Globe.
The 'band of brothers' met at lunchtime outside the school before travelling up together. All years were represented and there was a wonderful spirit of excitement and anticipation as the party made its way to the world-famous theatre on the Southbank. Making our way via the tunnels and winding paths that the Elizabethans would have used to make the same journey over 500 ago, WHSB were like the 'greyhounds in the slips' as the queued for entry.
Once through the gates, the WHSB group marvelled at the stage and atmosphere of standing in the 'pit'. The theatre was decked out with regal pageantry, and lit by a warm afternoon sun, and steadily filled to capacity. The 'pit' holds 700 and it was clear that this was one of the places to be to watch Saturday theatre in London.
The players took the stage and instantly transported the audience to the court of 'Harry', whose journey from a reckless, spoiled brat (presented that week at the Globe in Henry IV parts one and two) to heroic and inspirational leader by Henry V. The students, gathered by the side of the stage, were memorised by the blend of fast-paced action, romance and comedy. The casting presented our pupils with alternative and diverse ways to approach Shakespeare and the audience were left in no doubt that Director Michelle Terry's choice of Sarah Amankwah as Henry was inspired. Her range was exceptional and she put her own stamp on the two famous speeches that we best associate with the play; no mean feat considering that Olivier and Branagh have tackled the role so publicly. It is vital that our students receive Shakespeare in as many different ways as possible and this presentation certainly did that.
The students - ably led by Mr Sampson, Dr Francis and Mr Mumford - were a credit to the School. It is no mean feat to stand and watch Shakespeare for over two hours and conversations afterwards revealed that they had been enriched by the experience. It is again a reminder that high quality drama is available on our doorstep for only £5 and I would urge as many families to experience the summer season at the Globe during the holidays. My thanks to the students, attending staff (including Mrs Burden, who arranged the travel) and parents who helped support the trip. There will be further Globe trips in the next academic year.
Mr T Keenan (KS3 English Co-ordinator)