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Passion for Shakespeare shows on stage for primary school play

Year five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEast

Year five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEast

Primary school performers took to the stage at one of Suffolk's top theatre venues for their adaptation of a Shakespeare classic.

Year five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEastYear five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEast

Prospero, Caliban, Ariel and all, were among the cast of characters in Benhall St Mary’s Primary School’s production of The Tempest at DanceEast, in Ipswich.

The performance was the culmination of a second annual collaboration with the Shakespeare Schools Festival.

Year five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEastYear five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEast

Year five and six pupils presented a half-an-hour version of the play, using all of Shakespeare’s original language.

Headteacher Katie Jenkins said: “It’s a great way to introduce the children to Shakespeare.

Year five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEastYear five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEast

“The play included some very long speeches but they rose to the challenge. Their confidence was fantastic. You could really see a difference in the children who have never previously performed.

“This was a live performance in front of a paying audience. We were one of three schools performing on the evening – the other two being high schools. It was great to see.

Year five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEastYear five and six Benhall St Mary Primary School pupils performing The Tempest to a live audience at DanceEast

“The children already have a real passion for Shakespeare – and parents thank us for introducing them to his work at a young age.”

This year’s three-night Shakespeare Schools Festival at DanceEast also featured performances from Chantry Academy, Copleston High School, Ipswich High School, Hadleigh High School, Creeting St Mary Primary School, Castle Hill Junior School, Stowmarket High School and Finborough School.

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