“Bursting with pride”

A guest blog by Ruairi Kal, student performer from Holy Evangelists’ Primary School, about their 2016 Festival performance of Hamlet.

On Tuesday 15th November, the P7 pupils who were chosen to do their spectacular version of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ at the MAC Theatre, were said to have put on a stellar rendition of the play. All of the staff, parents and families of the young actors are surely bursting with pride.

The children left the school and made their way to the MAC Theatre (bursting with nerves) at 4.50pm. Once they arrived at their destination (albeit disrupted by some of Belfast’s most unreliable traffic) they made their way through the famous theatre towards the stage (which they would make their debut on later that night). Four schools took part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival which were: De La Salle, St Ronan’s, Christ the Redeemer and, of course, our very own Holy Evangelists’. They all performed amazing plays and it was clear to see that they all had practiced extremely hard.

First up to show their performance to the excited audience was Holy Evangelists’ who (as I mentioned before) performed Hamlet. The P7s who performed on behalf of the school did amazing and set such an example for the rest of the school; some even said they should pursue acting as a career!

Here are some comments from our young actors of HEPS: “At the start, I was so nervous, but soon after, I wasn’t as nervous,” said Caitlin Kerr McMahon. “It was class; I thought everyone worked together really well as a team,” said Darragh Walsh. Shane Hickland commented that he was ‘buzzing’ after the performance. Our wonderful Ophelia (Maisie Clarke Green) added that “I think the play was amazing. We all have had such a wonderful experience. I loved how even the smaller roles were appreciated.”. “I think it was amazing. Miss McDonagh really made us understand the language,” enthused Rachel Malone.

This opportunity will surely boost the young actors’ confidence and self-esteem, and possibly encourage them to pursue this as a career. This taste of acting and drama has given the children the experience of what professional acting would be like. They have learnt a lot about Shakespeare, his time, his language and this is a great foundation as we move onto secondary school, where I’m sure we will continue our Shakespearean Journey.

I can say that I have learnt so much from this experience, from learning about his pieces of work and his difficult language he uses. Before this experience, I wasn’t very confident about being on stage and in the limelight. However, after stepping off the stage, I feel much more confident in acting in front of an audience!

SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

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