A Fun Day Filming For Delight in Shakespeare

A great resource for Delight’s programmes are the instructional videos which support the teachers with in-school delivery. I went along to the filming of the Delight in Shakespeare videos with the Guildford Shakespeare Company to find out how it’s done. By Ella Breen

This was quite an intensive day of filming with lots of content and takes – especially compared to the Delight in Dance filming, which I had previously attended.

We filmed in The Mill Studio of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. The venue was made good use of – brick walls and curtains became stage entrances and exits, chairs became props and the theatre lighting helped to create stage atmosphere.

The script was very layered and it got a bit confusing. At points it was difficult to determine if mistakes were intentional examples inserted for the children to learn from or actual slip ups. However, towards the end it all fell into place and worked well! Watching the actors perform the Witches scene from Macbeth using different styles of acting was very entertaining – I think the children will really enjoy watching this.

“What’s really exciting is that, after a year off, we are getting back into the schools, which is going to be amazing!”

Ant Stones – Guildford Shakespeare Company

It was great to see how a professional theatre company explains the acting skills and techniques in a way that primary aged children can engage with.

Between takes, I caught up with two members of the Guildford Shakespeare Company team to get some insight into how they got started and their involvement with the Delight in Shakespeare project.

Matt Pinches (Cofounder): “I’m one of the two cofounders and producers at Guilford Shakespeare Company. We founded the company 15 years ago and I am so proud of the journey the company – and everybody who we have come in contact with – has been on.

“We work with some incredibly talented individuals whether that’s actors, directors, designers, choreographers, or writers. It’s a huge honour to work with so many wonderful people. It’s great just to make theatre either for big audiences or for school audiences, it’s a real pleasure.”

Ant Stones (Head of Education): “I’ve been working with Delight for seven years now, so this is our seventh year of taking plays into schools. It’s got bigger and better every single year. During the pandemic we couldn’t do live shows – we filmed all our shows and the children filmed their shows. What’s really exciting is that, after a year off, we are getting back into the schools, which is going to be amazing!”

Josh Thompson, from Wiggly Line, directing the shot.

The group discuss the next shot.

The sound man takes a well-earned break.

The GSC actor’s rehearse the next shot.

I have some film and photography experience and am interested in developing this, so it was helpful for me to observe how the specialist camera, sound and lighting work together. It was particularly interesting to see how sensitive the sound equipment was to external noises such as cars and people outside the studio, and even pigeons!

Delight CEO Kathryn Mills laughing/sneezing.

Thanks to Josh Thompson at Wiggly Line the takes have now all been edited into 3-7 minute films – and they look great! We are all really looking forward to them being shown in schools when the programme restarts in January 2022.

Find out more about our Delight in Shakespeare programme and Guildford Shakespeare Company.

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