Date Posted: 09/09/2016
5 September; the week at Read
So, the Summer holidays are over, and the students are back to school, hard at work, feeling - in the words of one - "like we've never been away!" The weather has been very warm and sunny, providing our new overseas cohorts of Chinese, Spanish and German pupils with an unrealistic expectation of what English weather is actually like!
Everybody is looking smart, invigorated and keen to crack on with some hard work. So, welcome back everybody, let's get on with it!
On the final Wednesday of the holiday I took the Upper Sixth away overnight to Stratford-on-Avon to see the current Royal Shakespeare Company production of King Lear. It was the second time we have seen the play this year, having previously been to a production at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in April. This meant that we could compare the two productions: we thought that Edmund and Gloucester were better in Stratford; the Fool not so good; we were dreadfully disappointed that there was no rain in the storm scene, but equally relieved that there was no nakedness!
The RSC had employed two dozen locals to act as Lear's riotous retinue, which made the scene in which they appear very convincing, and made us feel more sympathy for his elder daughters - no easy task! At one point I went into Automatic Teacher Mode (an occupational hazard) and told the woman a few seats down to stop rustling her sweets. I also mentioned to the pupils the enduring grudge that Miss Cross bears me for accidentally seating her behind a pillar when we took a group to see Romeo and Juliet at the RSC six years ago. Having seen Lear twice we can now move onto other texts until it is time to revise, but it was definitely a good way to ease ourselves back into school after the long holiday.