James is the director of Masque Youth Theatre, a community Drama and Theatre group for young people in Northampton. He is also a teacher of eighteen years’ experience, an avid devotee of Shakespeare and has a Postgraduate Award in the Essentials of Teaching and Performing Shakespeare with Children and Young People from the RSC/University of Warwick.
The production was a moving adaptation of the complex tale which includes themes of friendship, suspicion, abandonment and punishment. Phoebe Abbott played the lead as Leontes with poise and conviction. Holly Barry presented the accused Queen Hermoine with grace and elegance. Mariam Ziada gave a striking performance as Polixenes with a virtuous presence. Sonia-Maria Popazov performed her character of Paulina with compassion and faith and Ezri Mannion embodied her character of Camillo signifying honour and integrity. The entire ensemble was engaging and convincing.
The text was brought to life beautifully by the truthful delivery of the poetic lines and still presence of the characters and their intentions, in a formal and royal stage setting.
The intensive rehearsal period at the beginning of the academic year is such a valuable experience for our senior pupils. It gives them an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of working as a team to focus and deliver to a tight timescale. They gain so much from participating as a company in this way and I always notice changes in the girls’ confidence, maturity and work ethic as a result of this involvement.
Mrs Care, Director of Theatre