APS News

Year 8 Shakespeare Fever

This autumn, Year 8 studied the first Shakespearean play of their APS career: the ever-gory, truly terrifying Macbeth (aka ‘The Scottish Play’ to any superstitious thespians reading!) More horrifying than the ruthless Lady Macbeth, was the challenge the English Department set the whole year group in their very first lesson. With next to no knowledge of the play, every single student was made to choose a speech, which they were then given 2 weeks to comprehend, memorise and rehearse, ready to perform in a cross-year competition which (after class heats and a gruelling semi-final) had its glorious grand final on the 11th of October 2018.

This was the second annual Performing Shakespeare Final held at APS and it was an inspiring and humbling experience for all teachers, parents/carers and supportive friends who attended, as the selected students performed gripping interpretations of their chosen Macbeth speeches. Five incredibly brave students (Lucas, Kezia, Sameer, Poppy and Lucie W) even learnt a second speech with only one week’s notice, from a selection of Shakespeare child characters, compiled by guest judge (‘Skins’ writer and Shakespeare ‘buff’) Holly Hughes. Holly was joined by Ms Vasey and Ms Jobling to judge this very close competition and after MUCH deliberation agreed on the following awards:

Winners

Poppy Burnham for: Boy from ‘Henry V’, Act 3 Scene 2 (‘As young as I am…’)
Elsie Hunter-Rawlings for: Macbeth, from ‘Macbeth’, Act 2 Scene 1 (‘Is this a dagger…’)

Highly Commended:

Kezia for: Arthur from ‘King John’, Act 4, Scene 1 (‘have you the heart?’)
Lucas for: Bottom from Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 4 Scene 1 (‘When my cue comes…’)
Lucie for: Macbeth, from ‘Macbeth’, Act 2 Scene 1 (‘Is this a dagger…’)
Our other (very worthy!) finalists were: James, Leo, Jodie, Sameer and Freddy.

shakespeare fever

The winners will be going through to the regional finals of this national competition in the Spring – so we have our fingers crossed for an APS national champion!

As if that wasn’t enough Shakespeare for one year group, 30 lucky year 8 students also won a lottery to attend the RSC’s critically acclaimed production of Macbeth at the Barbican, starring Dr Who’s Christopher Eccleston.
What a term - Shakespeare would be proud!

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Othello at the Globe Theatre

Ms. Peleties Writes...

We were very fortunate to secure thirty seats for Year 12 to see this prestigious production, starring Mark Rylance as Iago and Andre Holland as Othello, which has just finished its hugely successful run at the Globe.

Our sixth formers proved themselves worthy ambassadors of Alexandra Park School; their conduct was exemplary and their appreciation, engagement and enthusiasm for the performance and the venue were impressive. It was an absolute pleasure to accompany Year 12 on this trip and students’ responses are a testament to their enjoyment and enhanced understanding of their set text ‘Othello:

I really enjoyed the play because it helped me to understand the drama more; the atmosphere was amazing!Oli Da Costa
It was interesting to see Iago being displayed with humour as it contrasted to the way he is perceived when reading the play.Olivia Bucherer
A fantastic performance from Mark Rylance in ‘Othello’…. The characters’ relationships were strong and impactful as the audience could see how Iago manipulated them.Keir Chauhan
Excellent cast that did not disappoint and delivered a once in a lifetime production which was great to watch!”Phoebe Crutchley

othello 01

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Shakespeare Schools Festival 2018

Ms. Vasey Writes...

shakespeare schoolsA group of Year 9 students have been working on a production of Romeo and Juliet in association with the Shakespeare Schools Festival. They have been extremely committed, attending rehearsals on Mondays and Fridays each week, and have also attended a cast workshop at the Arts Depot Theatre. The students really enjoyed the workshop and here are a few of their comments:

“I had a great time and learnt how to develop my character in more depth.’’ - Madi (9K)

“I had a really fun time and I liked learning new acting techniques and doing different exercises to improve the understanding of my character - Imogen (9K)
The festival has not only allowed APS students to pursue their interest in acting but has also allowed those students interested in lighting and sound design to explore their talents and perform a valued role in the production process.

The pupils will be performing Romeo and Juliet on Friday 23rd November, along with 3 other schools who are involved in the festival.

We hope to see you on the 23rd November to support these talented and hardworking students!

Ticket info:

Full price: £9.75 - Concession: £7.75

Box office contact number: 020 8369 5454

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APS host 'Poetry by Heart' final

On Tuesday 7th November, the English Department hosted the final of the annual Poetry by Heart competition.  Congratulations to all the finalists who learned and performed one pre-1914 and one post-1914 poem from the national Poetry by Heart anthology. The evening was a great success where the students communicated clear understanding of the message and emotion of the poems they performed. At the end of the evening, the judges, actor Elliot Levey and Spoken Word Artist/TedEx Speaker, Lionheart, commented that they were particularly impressed with how each finalist seemed to ‘internalise their poems’ and the skilled way they managed their vocal performances including the ‘cadence of their delivery’. 

Our school champion this year was Flo Ellary, for her hypnotic rendition of Robert Browning’s: ‘Porphyria's Lover’ and her contrastingly amusing portrayal of: ‘God, A Poem’ by James Fenton.

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