Online study helps school ‘improve’ Macbeth
STUDENTS at a Wellington primary school have taken a version of Macbeth off the internet for their school production, shortened it by two thirds, added more fighting scenes and removed lines they considered anti-Semitic.
With the help of an internet resource called No Fear Shakespeare on Sparknotes.com, Thomas Roughton, 12, (left) wrote and directed a one-hour production of the three-hour classic for parents and teachers of Clifton Terrace Model School.
One of Thomas’ modifications was to change “liver of blaspheming Jew” to “liver of blaspheming kangaroo”.
Thomas, who attends the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy in Wellington, led rehearsals for the play over two whole terms.
Fellow students Eleisha Schnellenberg, 13, and Mackenzie Teek, 11, played the other lead roles as well as helping Thomas direct and organise the play.
Eleisha was prompted to team up with Thomas after the school’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last year.
“Thomas and I were talking and I asked if I could be involved,” she says.
Aside from a few road bumps along the way, Mackenzie says the play came together well.
“It was a milestone that we all had to complete. We all did something to contribute.”