Young performers bring the Bard to life as senior students at Portsmouth High School perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream

TALENTED young performers enjoyed an ‘amazing opportunity’ as they brought the magic of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to a packed audience.

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 3:27 pm

Senior students at Portsmouth High School performed the comedy over two nights, telling the comedic story of four lovers who escape the confines of ancient Athens to flee into an enchanted forest.

Emer Cullen-Taylor, head of English and drama, said: ‘It is an absolute pleasure to bring a whole school production back to Portsmouth High School after the disruption of COVID-19.

‘The students have been a real delight to spend time with; their camaraderie and enthusiasm have been motivating for all of us and they have managed to create some thoroughly moving and humorous performances.

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Jessica Hall and Emily Jarman-May. Picture: Sally Tiller

‘The tech team and crew have been similarly visionary in their approach to the staging of the play.’

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Sydney, a Year 11 student, said she ‘really enjoyed’ her role in the technical side of the play.

She added: ‘I love performing centre stage, however learning how to program the lights and sound has really given me an overview of the performance as a whole.

The cast. Picture: Sally Tiller

‘From sourcing props and costumes to discussing which lights are needed to enhance the mood of a scene, the technical side of the play is a completely different experience – one I would recommend to anyone interested in drama.’

Amelie is a Year 13 student who played the part of Helena.

She said: ‘Coming out of lockdown has been a strange time for all of us.

‘This show was an amazing opportunity for me to get back to doing what I love.

Eve Harwood as Titania. Picture: Sally Tiller

‘After an unpredictable few years, it was a wonderful experience to get back on stage with such a great cast.’

Fellow Year 13 student Holly stage managed the play.

She said: ‘This was my first experience of being a stage manager.

‘It has been great fun and wonderful to work with such a talented cast.’

Erin Robertson as Bottom and Eve Harwood as Titania. Picture: Sally Tiller

Dania, a Year 8 student, is one of the youngest members of the cast.

She took up the role of Mustardseed, one the fairy helpers of Queen Titania.

Dania said: ‘The cast, crew and teachers were so encouraging and caring.

‘The rehearsing was one of my favourite parts.

‘We all made a few mistakes but that was the amusing part of it.’

From left: Beatrice Oliver, Beth Sparkes as Oberon’s fairies, Madeleine Oliver as Oberon, Phoebe Wilson and Sophie Fabre De La Grange as Oberon’s fairies. Picture: Sally Tiller

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Amelie Hampshire as Helena and Annalee Macfarlane as Demetrius. Picture: Sally Tiller