Romeo and Juliet, true love?
Are Romeo and Juliet really the most romantic of all lovers? Or is their love more folly, infatuation and teenage angst?
The aim of the project is to research and produce an educational audio listening aid to introduce children at Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) to Shakespeare's Macbeth.
The story will be told through the eyes of Sam and Ellie, two children on a residential school trip. In the Scottish castle they will awaken the ghosts and the story of Macbeth, and through collections of sound coming out of the walls, from their desks and from under the bed, they will go on a journey of discovery to find out the truth behind the witches' cackles. Sam and Ellie will guide the young listeners through the plot asking them to help solve the mystery surrounding the voices and strange language in the castle.
This version of Macbeth will not be linear plot adaptation of the text but will focus on imagination, understanding and language. The children will be asked to assemble the clues, to put the story in order, and to write what they think happened and how the story ended, before it is revealed in a final abridged plot montage of the play.
The piece will last no longer than 30 minutes and will have suggestions for activities relating to the adaptation of Macbeth included on the recording.
The project is still in the research stages, and will focus on the construction of soundscapes to bring the play to life and to ensure that it is interesting and captivating for a young audience. Sound will be layered and built up to create interesting scenes. With short bursts of Early Modern English, language will be an important factor in the adaptation, but it will incite interest rather than alienate the listeners - the biggest concern from teachers and children in my research to date. Imagination is at the forefront of this project and will be an interactive and engaging introduction to Shakespeare and to Macbeth.
If you work in a school or work with children and would like to get involved with the project, then please do get in touch. My email address is email@example.com.
Here is the scriptI thought you might like to see the script for the Witches scene - so this is what was written before the audio brought it to life.
School bus – chatter among children, Mr Ellis on microphone at the front of the bus
Mr Ellis: Children, children (taps mic) can you all look this way for a moment please.Thank you. Good afternoon children…We are all looking forward to what Miss Mackenzie and I hope will be a truly excellent trip to the Scottish highlands. A scrumptious dinner that has been prepared especially for us will be ready at 5.30, so when we get there, Miss Mackenie will take the girls to their dorms and I will take the boys to theirs. You will have 30 minutes to unpack and put your things away neatly and we will meet in the dining hall in the castle at 5.15 this evening. At 7pm, we will be start delving into the magical world of William Shakespeare, 17th century England and The King James I – who it is said believed in witches. So bring your best witch stories along tonight, any spells you know and will we see if we can make some magic of our own in this ancient castle tonight. Nathan...
Child 1: Mr Ellis, are we nearly there then?
Mr Ellis: We will arrive in about 20 minutes, so make sure you have pick up any rubbish and that your bags are packed and shoes are on ......Annabella, put your shoes on....etc (fade out)
Dining hall in castle. Children eating – introduction of witch music and whispers ‘double double etc. Chatter in background.
(whisper) Sam, can you hear that noise?
Ellie: There’s talking. shhhh….listen….whispering……
Sam: Yeah, I can hear it. I think Mr Ellis is trying to scare us all – he wants to tell witch stories after dinner –I can’t wait to see The Loch Ness monster tomorrow. Miss Mackenzie said we can go down after breakfast, Jack said that his Granddad saw it when ……
Mr Ellis: Good evening children and welcome to Glamis Castle. I think you will agree that the dinner was excellent. Have we all finished? As soon as you have clearer your plate away and taken it to the kitchen, please come to the common room with pens and pencils.
Sound of chairs scraping and children getting up to leave.
Sam: Come on Ellie, I’ll walk over with you
Ellie: Shhhhh…..listen….can you hear it…I think it is coming out of the dining room walls…
First Witch When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Second Witch When the hurlyburly's done,
When the battle's lost and won.
First Witch Where the place?
Second Witch Upon the heath .
Third Witch There to meet with Macbeth.
Noise – animal calls
First Witch I come, graymalkin!
Second Witch Paddock calls.
ALL Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
Sam: Ellie...did you hear that? It sounded like real witches.
Ellis: Yeah, it’s a shame everyone else is already in class, they didn’t even get to hear it. They did speak strangely didn’t they. The witches I mean. When the hurleyburly’s done?!
Sam: Fair is foul and foul is fair. What does foul mean?
Ellie: When the battle’s lost and won...how can a battle be lost and won?
Narrator: Do you know what foul means? Make a list of as many sentences as possible that have opposites in them? What effect does having all these opposites have of the atmosphere of the play? How does it set up your expectations of the play?
END TRACK 1
Narrator: On the way to the common room, Sam and I heard more voices…they really did seem to be coming out of the walls…
Sam: Ellie...listen carefully...I can hear a drum...
Third Witch A drum, a drum!
Macbeth doth come.
First Witch All Hail!
Second Witch Hail Macbeth and Banquo!
Third Witch Hail Macbeth!
Macbeth So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
Speak, if you can: what are you?
First Witch All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!
Second Witch All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!
Third Witch All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!
Banquo My noble partner
You greet with present grace and great prediction
Of noble having and of royal hope,
That he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not.
If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favours nor your hate.
First Witch Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
Second Witch Not so happy, yet much happier.
Third Witch Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:
So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
First Witch Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
Music change – fanfare- footsteps....
MESSENGER The King bade me, from him, Macbeth, call thee thane of Cawdor:
BANQUO What, can the devil speak true?
Posted by Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 11 Apr 11 09:53 am
Another extractHere is another extract from the project this is the 'death montage' a montage of different lines from Macbeth that Ellie hears in the castle later in the story that relate to the deaths in the play. I think these lines have interesting imagery and could lead onto to interesting character work, guessing where they come from, who says them etc.
Posted by Elizabeth Woledge 07 Apr 11 12:25 pm