CYCLONE Rep will tour to venues nationwide in 2016 with four 'Shakespeare Sessions' designed to provide students and their teachers with a multi-faceted theatrical experience that engages and entertains, enriches and educates.
It’s theatre-in-education with a twist, featuring entertaining productions of the prescribed examination texts.
Mayo students can experience it with daytime performances in Galway's Town Hall Theatre on February 8 and 9. Cyclone Rep will return to the west for performances in the Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo, on April 4 and 5, following which there will be a tour directly to schools in the Mayo/Sligo area from April 6 to 8.
In her Sunday Independent review, Doireann O'Brien said: “The theatre is transformed into a creative learning hub where new perspectives on theme, character, and plot are bounced back and forth between actors and an attentive audience.”
And for teachers? “The most enjoyable school production I have seen, and I am teaching for 22 years,” said Anna Henry, based in Mayo.
The company repertory of shows includes: the Hamlet Session - an outstanding performance and engaging analysis in which the character of Hamlet as 'everyman' is explored; the King Lear Session - five unlikely characters tell the story of Lear and in the process make a journey of self-discovery; and the Merchant Session - the most interactive of Cyclone Rep's shows, with an entertaining and informative synthesis of analysis and performance, highlighting what a fine comedy it is.
Each Shakespeare Session is an abridged version of the prescribed text. The key scenes are performed true to text and the story arc is maintained. A workshop is woven throughout the show; this encompasses audience participation, discussion on main themes, and Q&A sessions with characters.
The running time for each session is approximately two hours, the show times are 9.45 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Town Hall Theatre listings are: Monday, February 8, King Lear at 9.45 a.m. and Hamlet at 1 p.m.; Tuesday, February 9, Hamlet at 9.45 a.m. and The Merchant of Venice at 1 p.m. The standard ticket price is €14 per student (teachers and SNAs free). For bookings contact the Town Hall Theatre on (091) 56977. Full details and teacher resource packs can be found at www.cyclonerep.com, or contact (021) 2355356 or firstname.lastname@example.org.