The Scottish Play – Murder Most Foul!
‘When shall we three meet again; In thunder, lightning or in rain?’
. . . or possibly the Beech Walk. This half term, Year 6 have begun an exciting exploration of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Straight after the half term break, they started by studying the opening scene, where the three witches meet and begin to plan how they will reel in Macbeth. The children chose different locations to perform the scene: some delved into the dark recesses of hedges and others crept out from behind twisted tree trunks. Using emotive body language and some wonderfully creative facial expressions, the children captured the witches evocatively. The Beech Walk was infused with the brews arising from cauldrons and shuddered amidst the cackle of unearthly laughter. Everyone learned their lines in under half an hour. Mrs C thinks that Shakespeare would have been very proud.
Later, it was time to turn to the play’s pivotal event: the murder of King Duncan of Scotland. Once again, the Beech Walk proved the perfect setting for the scene, one filled with dark and terrible deeds . . . of murder most foul! Tree trunks became doorways where loyal guards stood sentinel watching over their king, only to be tricked by the guile of Lady Macbeth. Hedges became shadowy hiding places. From amongst the foliage, ethereal daggers appeared before Macbeth’s eyes, and a swathe of ivy became Duncan’s final resting place. The pupils performed creatively and with a real understanding of the sequence of events and the forces acting upon Macbeth which bring about his eventual downfall.
With its spellbinding plot and unforgettable characters, Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ has captured completely the imagination of our Year 6 pupils.