What an outstanding evening!
So, the big day arrived, Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Shakespeare Schools Festival, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and our performance of Romeo and Juliet.
We left school at about 12:30 without our printed shirts as they hadn’t yet been delivered. We arrived at the Sherman and went straight in for our technical rehearsal. One of the organizers, Juliet (not our Juliet) jumped and bounced the pupils around the script to sort out Mr Roberts’s lighting cues. Mrs Price sat with Juliet to add input and discuss changes. Mr Roberts was in the wings with Mrs Williams and he was desperately scrabbling through the script in the wings trying to work out which line we were leaping to next. The pupils were less concerned, “Don’t worry sir, it’s this scene” and promptly trotted off. The dress rehearsal (still without actual costumes) went well with Mr Roberts, Mrs Price and Mrs Williams up in the seats and the cast left to their own devices in the wings to sort themselves out. Even though every urge inside Mr Roberts told him to go to the wings and organize them into positions, the children clearly didn’t need it! It went amazingly well and the sailed through the performance.
We then had a full cast (all four schools) warm up where we found out the running order. First up was Y Bont Faen’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, second would be Evenlode’s ‘The Tempest’. There would then be a fifteen minute interval which would be followed by High Street’s ‘Macbeth’. We were to go on last meaning that we had to wait until about 9:00pm to go on. To everyone’s relief, our shirts were brought to the theatre by Mrs Bamford at about 6:00pm. The show started at 7:00pm with Juliet (again, not our Juliet) introducing the evening. As we were in the second half our two schools watched the first two's performances at the back of the theatre. The time, dark theatre and comfy seats led to a few of the pupils having to be prodded to stave off sleep.
Just as the applause for the Tempest began and the audience were getting ready for the interval, we had to get up, rush down the steps and move to our dressing rooms. Luckily the run to the dressing rooms and the kicking in of an adrenalin rush woke us all up. We had to wait for the third performance to take place up in our dressing rooms where we did a few warm ups and practices. Then our time came. We quietly crept downstairs and tiptoed into the wings. There was no going back now! Before we knew it we were on and then before everyone knew it, it was over! It just flew through and all three of us adults just were left to stand in the wings like spare parts, desperately trying to peak at what was going on on-stage. Every single cast member was magnificent. A great number of our parents paid to come to watch so the noise for the curtain call was just amazing. Mr Roberts even got dragged on stage with the other teacher directors at the end too! Then it was time to go home and get a well-earned night’s sleep.
Such an amazing evening! Many thanks to all the staff and parents for the support on this journey. Thanks too, to Shakespeare Schools Festival for allowing us the opportunity to perform to a live audience. Finally and most importantly, many thanks to the pupils for their amazing performance.