Shakespeare @ The Castle

A misty, dank morning at Middleham Castle made a stunning setting for our performance of Macbeth.  

Shakespere at Middleham castle 009

From learning quotes to writing our own potion poems, from making props and designing costumes to learning our lines, it was undoubtedly a fitting climax to our work on Shakespeare.  A gaggle of shivering family and friends (and a few bemused tourists!)  gathered in the ruins of the castle keep, and we finally had our audience!  And boy, did we entertain!

Thank you to those people who came along to watch and provide us with an audience, and thank you to all the parents and grandparents who helped out with costumes and learning lines!  And what did the children think about their experience? 7, 8 & 9 years old may seem young to be studying Shakespeare, but a cracking, action-packed story certainly captured the hearts and minds of Class 2!

We used Brendan P Kelso’s Playing with Plays: Macbeth for our script, and we were most grateful to English Heritage for allowing us to use Middleham Castle grounds to stage our play.  



23 thoughts on “Shakespeare @ The Castle

  1. Dear Class 2

    I came to see your ‘Macbeth’ at Middleham Castle and thought it was fabulous! You had all done so well to learn your lines in such a short period of time, your costumes were great and your acting was excellent – well done! I hope when you are grown up, you will have really special memories of acting in Macbeth in such a special place and I hope you will always remember having a teacher who encourages you to do such exciting things!

    Well done, Class 2 and well done, Mrs Monaghan!

    Doesn’t Lauren make a really ‘evil’ face?!


    • Thank you Kathy, and thank you for taking time out to come and see us, the children really enjoyed having an audience of family and friends to see them perform. It was a super experience for all of us, myself included!

  2. Wow. Great script, fantastic acting and a real castle in which to act ‘The Scottish Play’.
    I am sure you will remember many lines from the play for years to come. Think how clever you will be in quizzes when you can answer questions about Shakespeare. I hope you are now keen to study some more of his plays.
    Lauren certainly made a good ‘power behind the throne.’
    Well done all of you but especially Mrs Monaghan for having the vision and enthusiasm. Enjoy your holidays you deserve a break.

    • You are right about the quizzes and crosswords! Having studied quite a bit of Shakespeare at school and seen many plays since, I always enjoy a good bard-related clue! It’s funny how many famous lines we know or half know… sometimes without realising ourselves where they come from.
      We shall enjoy our holidays now, having worked hard for them!
      Mrs Monaghan

  3. Dear Class 2 and Mrs Monaghan, thank you so much for letting me watch and film your wonderful play, you were all FANTASTIC ! I couldn’t believe how well you knew your lines, particularly as you’ve had such a short time to learn and rehearse them. Being able to perform in Middleham Castle is brilliant too – the perfect backdrop.

    You are all so talented – I look forward to seeing your photo in the D&S in due course and your next production….

    • Dear Mrs T,
      Thank you for coming along to be part of our audience, and of course helping out with our Easter Egg hunt afterwards! We managed to find all the eggs and (eventually!) all the children! It would be wonderful to do more Shakespeare… perhaps next year!
      Mrs Monaghan

  4. I was really sorry that I could not make the performance at the castle, however I have really enjoyed watching your video. You were all amazing! Fantastic acting, well done to you all.
    Fiona (Lauren’s mum)

    • It’s a shame that you were not able to join us, but I’m glad you enjoyed the video – sorry we didn’t quite make it to the end, you missed Lady Macbeth’s wall-trembling scream as she died!
      Mrs Monaghan

    • Woah! Is that Brendan as in Brendan P Kelso who wrote the play? Those scripts are great, I love the mix of fun and classic lines, it makes it very accessible and it works so well! So glad you like what we did with it! We are so lucky to have a castle on our doorstep, how could we not use it?!

      • Yep, Brendan P here! I have seen my plays performed in various parts of the world, but never in a castle! Dare I say, a stroke of brilliance!

        Please tell your kids for me that they were FANTASTIC!!! So good, I’m sharing them with my followers on facebook!

        You can see my shout out to you and the kids here:

        Thanks for being an inspiration to us all!


        • Thanks! That is lovely – much appreciated. We had so much fun with your script, I would recommend to any teachers out there looking to bring quality texts to life in an accessible way for younger children.

  5. Splendid work, straight out of the top drawer. It’s wonderful to be able to share in the experience because you put in the extra time and effort to blog your work.
    Using the castle was inspired and I’m sure it made the children’s introduction to Shakespeare memorable.
    This work has the children at the centre of it and Shakespeare metaphorically holding their hands, a quality educational experience on so many levels.

    Well done chaps, what on earth will you be getting up to next?

    Mr E

    • Indeed…how do you follow that??!! I’ve got all Easter to think about it now! A top experience. Thank you for your kind comments.

  6. I loved learning about Shakespeare. It was really fun, especially when we acted. The funniest part was when I screamed at the end to die. I practiced it lots at home….mums ears didn’t like it!

    • Your practice certainly paid off – that was a truly blood-curdling scream! However, you can stop practicing now… and give your poor mum’s ears a rest!
      Mrs M

  7. It was great to see all your hard work come to fruition. Eve, as we could tell all the children, had learnt their lines thoroughly and seemed to completely enjoy the experience. Well done to everyone, can’t wait to come and watch the next one. Happy Easter x

    • Thank you! I seriously hope we can repeat the experience, it was so much fun, and the children worked SO hard to make it work! They had so many good ideas about how to stage it, what to wear, where to stand etc… Let’s hope it’s the first of many!
      Mrs Monaghan

  8. I have only just caught up on watching your Shakespeare at the Castle video, too many excellent bits to highlight them all & several budding actresses and actors, it looked wonderful. Congratulations to you all.

    Clare Parry

    • Thanks! We really enjoyed it… and we’re still talking about it lots – I think it may have to become a regular event!
      Mrs Monaghan

  9. Hi guys
    You all did really really well and were great. You used lots of expression too. Was just really sad I couldn’t be there with you. I was thinking of you all

    • We really missed you, Brodie – however, you were a smashing help to us during our rehearsals with your witchy voice and your enthusiasm! We would never have been so good if you hadn’t helped us so much in our preparations!
      Mrs Monaghan

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