Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Winter's Tale

The problem with teaching Shakespeare to a group of 13-year olds in a classroom is that it is all chest-constricting, high-alert stuff; you are caught between attempting to convey a passion you cannot possibly feel for your subject in this alien environment, while all your attention is focused on trying to thwart the next ambush from the kid who has filed his teeth, shaved his head, and is known locally as The Butcher.

The benefit of doing the opposite - of communicating something you love in your own home - is that you can do it surrounded by all the things which matter to you, like breakfast and books, and you can behave boldly and with a certain joy in the randomly directed experiment, and the enterprise becomes genuinely shared. But if you do get it wrong then you know your audience will forgive if you get out the chocolate.

Breakfast with The Winter's Tale, enacted by blueberries taking the role of the characters, mugs of chocolate becoming the dramatic unities, and a tablecloth we can scribble on.

Preparation for us to see the RSC version tonight at the theatre. Recommended. Both the Shakespeare play, and dumping school to relax and enjoy the endeavour for yourself.

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