The young cast of Macbeth from Eleanor Palmer primary school
Published: 3 January, 2013
by TOM FOOT
SHAKESPEARE’S gore-fuelled tragedy Macbeth might not be an obvious choice for a primary school Christmas play.
But children at Eleanor Palmer, in Tufnell Park, lapped up the 400-year-old script in a triumphant recent production.
An hour-long adaptation of the rip-roaring story – complete with ghoulish prophecies, infanticide and a revolt led by a soldier “from womb untimely ripped” – was performed in front of parents.
They listened as the 10 and 11-year-olds recited famous speeches including, “Is this a dagger I see before me?”, and “Out, out damned spot!”
Sinister witches summoned dread demons from the deep and Lady Macbeth (played by Stella) bated her hesitant husband (played by Benny) with taunts of, “Are you a man?”
The action was directed by teacher Natalie Stevenson and punctuated with musical-style songs that got the audience rocking.
Headteacher Kate Frood said: “Credit to all that they coped with that incredibly hard language. I always understand it better when children do it, and I really understood the story there.”
She added: “There were wonderful speeches and acting and characterisation of the stories – and singing "The children made it their own.”