All the School's a Stage
Pupils and staff pay tribute to Shakespeare’s life and works with a day of drama to celebrate the playwright’s 400-year legacy.
Senior School pupils and staff today marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a celebration of his life and works. The playwright, who penned almost 40 plays, over 150 sonnets, and coined popular phrases such as “All that glitters is not gold” [The Merchant of Venice], died on 23 April 1616.
The highlight of the day was a powerful performance by Lower Sixth Formers Ciara Chittenden-Ellis and Anna Muñoz, of Katharine of Aragon’s final speech in Henry VIII. This was a unique opportunity to see, for the first time, the scene performed exactly where it was set – in Katharine’s bedroom, now the Headmaster’s study. (Katharine was exiled to Kimbolton Castle in 1534, following her divorce from Henry, and died here in 1536.)
Other events included Chemistry teacher Mr Peter Crawford’s recitation of the Chorus of Henry V in the Castle Courtyard, and performances in the Saloon and in the grounds of scenes from King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Even lunchtime had an added Shakespearean flavour, with 'pop-up performances' by staff of speeches by the Bard.
All pupils were also invited to join an online Kimbolton discussion on Shakespeare, with their thoughts on “If you could ask Shakespeare just one question what would you ask, and why?”. Ingrams pupils were challenged to a Shakespeare quiz during their tutor period.
Head of English, Mr Steven Pollard, said: “Shakespeare is central to British culture and it is fitting that we should mark this 400th anniversary. It was a unique opportunity to stage one of his scenes where he had intended it to be and was very pleasing to see so many pupils and staff engaged in our commemorative events."
Our First Form pupils will continue to enjoy this special anniversary year with a visit later this month to Shakespeare’s birthplace and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.