3rd December 2004 at 00:00
KS1: Make up a song based on "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean" for Cinderella to sing when she has been left all alone by the fire after her Ugly Sisters have gone to the ball.

KS2: In the school pantomime, Robin Hood and Maid Marian meet the Babes in the Wood in Sherwood Forest. Two of the Sheriff of Nottingham's soldiers are looking for Robin nearby. In groups of six, students act out the scene, then write it as a script.

KS3: Imagine that the school is to put on Cinderella for Christmas. In small groups, write the scene where the Ugly Sisters are getting ready to go to the ball, with the help of Cinderella and Buttons. Make-up, hairdos, jewellery - and lots of attention - will be required. They should write in script format and include dialogue and stage directions.

KS4: Read "Gus, the Theatre Cat", by TS Eliot. Ask pupils to imagine they are a cat, resident in a modern-day theatre that is putting on a pantomime (with their favourite celebrity in the cast) and write "A Day In My Life".

KS5: Read the three passages in A Midsummer Night's Dream in which the mechanicals cast (I, ii), rehearse (III, i, 1-95) and perform (V, i, 108-344) their "lamentable comedy". Given that Shakespeare was a professional playwright and actor, students should consider how successfully he depicts amateur dramatics, doing so by means of characterisation and the comic use of language.


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