Channel 4 Learning

Shakespeare's Half Hours
Shakespeare's Half Hours
Drama Festival
Romeo and Juliet
(Sequence One)
(Sequence Two)
Twelfth Night
(Sequence Three)
Julius Caesar
(Sequence Four)
Drama Exercises
(Sequences Five to Seven)
(Sequences Eight and Nine)
Forms of Comedy
(Sequence Ten)
(Sequence Eleven)
The Live Show
TV Transmissions
Print Version

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Shakespeare's Half Hours


The programme shows a selection of highlights demonstrating important stages in the evolution of four London schools' contributions to the Shakespeare School Drama Festival. We jump from school to school in order to see each of their 'shows' at similar points of development. In the process, a variety of dramatic approaches are presented as applied to a range of scenes, both intimate and ensemble.

The following grid sets out the main elements of the programme:




Key Elements

St Saviour's and St Olave's School, Southwark. Teacher: Irene Bishop

Romeo and Juliet

  • The Prologue
  • Act 1 Scene 1 – the fight between the Montagues and Capulets
  • Act 1 Scene 5 – Romeo and Juliet's first meeting at the Capulet ball

  • Creating a large group scene involving stylised performance
  • Directing 'intimate' dialogue

Eaglesfield School, London SE18. Teachers: Denise Hyland and Natalie Wilbourne


  • (Brief) – Interpretation of the witches
  • (Brief) Malcolm and Donalbain decide to flee (Act 1 Scene 3)
  • Macbeth and Lady Macbeth – the coronation, Banquo's soliloquy and the conspiracy against Banquo
  • (Act 3 Scenes 1–2)

    • Use of movement and rhythm
    • Putting Shakespeare into own words
    • Hotseating
    • Detailed direction and textwork

    Thomas Tallis School, Greenwich. Teacher: Dan Stanley

    Twelfth Night

    • Back-story – the sinking of Viola and Sebastian's ship
    • Malvolio and Olivia – his appearance in the yellow stockings (Act 3 Scene 4)

    • Various physical theatre techniques including the creation of sound pictures
    • Detailed direction of a scene to create comic effect

    Kingsdale School, Southwark. Teacher: Mohammed Dabo

    Julius Caesar

    • Caesar returns from victory over Pompey (Act 1 Scene 2)
    • The assassination of Caesar (Act 3 Scene 1)

    • The adaptation of Shakespeare to reflect an African cultural context
    • Status

    In addition to the scenes managed by teachers there are also a number of sequences showing the theatre professionals Dramarama working with students on aspects of performance such as projection, emotion and rhythm.

    The programme concludes with sequences showing the teachers giving their students last-minute pep talks before their one-off performances at the Greenwich Theatre. During the course of these talks, various tips about live performance are highlighted.