Monday, 3 August 2015

Year 12 student Cara is on her work experience with us this week to have a look behind the scenes of the company. This is her blog.


Cobweb the fairy from A Midsummer Night's DreamThis morning, my main task was to help out with the new animating Shakespeare workshop. For this, I made my own plasticine model of Cobweb the fairy from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I tried to make Cobweb very detailed, giving her decorated wings, and fairy-like shoes.

Cobweb with Bottom and Titania in the gardenWhen we had made all our characters (Titania, Bottom as a donkey and Cobweb), we went to the gardens behind QUAD to film some stop motion animation to tell part of the story from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

We filmed the part where Titania falls in love with Bottom because she has been put under a spell. This was a very fun task to start the day off with.

In the afternoon, I had the task of carrying on with the booklet for the next Shakespeare Night.

I put all my information about the past productions into the booklet and made a layout of pictures with captions to show the history of productions of the play.

Past productions of Julius CaesarI also added my summary from Julius Caesar to the front page to give a brief overview of what the play is about and what happens in it.

I have really enjoyed working with 1623 this week, and feel like I have learned a lot about how a theatre company works and what you don’t see. I think it has also been a good opportunity for me to learn more about the company and how small organisations work within bigger ones.


Books that I used to help find out about the production historyMy first task for today was to help Ben learn lines for the Shakespeare’s Folk Tales production that will be held tonight. I found this interesting as I didn’t know any of the plays (Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet) so I got a overall idea of what these plays are about.

After this, my main task was to continue working on the booklet for the next Shakespeare Night that I started yesterday. For this, I researched the production history of Julius Caesar, where I found a lot of interesting adaptations of the play, for example a 2012 film of Julius Caesar was set in South Africa instead of in Rome.

Adding the information into the bookletI discovered that there is quite a diverse range of plays and films based on Julius Caesar, such as an all-black version, an all-female interpretation, and a stage production in the 1930s that involved the main characters dressed in uniforms similar to what was worn in Nazi Germany.

I found it interesting to see how differently people could interpret the play if they look at it in a different way and also different ways it can be adapted to suit certain casts or audiences.

Then I spent some time putting my work into the actual booklet and formatting it to look similar to the previous versions, but adapting it to suit the information I had.


My plot summary of Julius CaesarFor this morning, my main task was to write a plot summary of Julius Caesar to be on the front page of the next Shakespeare Night booklet.

For this, I did some research into the play, and as I was not familiar with it I read parts of the play and also listened to the radio play on 1623’s Soundcloud page. I found this very helpful to finding out the main points of the play, and also looked at some summaries online to get the overall view of the play. I then wrote my own summary using all the information I had found online to help me, so it was ready for the next Shakespeare Night booklet.

My notes on the play for the Shakespeare Night bookletIn the afternoon, my task was to do some other parts of the booklet, including the inspirations for Julius Caesar, the historical context and some memorable quotes.

I did some more research into the play, finding some information about the inspirations, which was that his main source for the play was from Thomas North’s translation or Plutarch’s Lives.

I also found out that Julius Caesar was written around the time when Elizabeth I seemed to be near the end of her reign with no heirs to the throne. This was similar to Caesar’s life which may have been a reason why Shakespeare decided to write about him.

The leaflet and bookmark that I madeI also looked at some quotes to go in the booklet, I looked at parts of the script that were important and picked some of my favourite quotes. My favourite from the four quotes that I picked was Cassius saying, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

My final task for the day was to make some Shakespeare Night leaflets and bookmarks. Shakespeare Night is 1623's monthly workshop for everyone to take part in. It is part of 1623's participatory activities that aim to inspire people with Shakespeare in exciting new ways.

I found today very interesting as I wasn’t familiar with Julius Caesar before, but now I know quite a bit about it so I feel like I have learned a lot about a new play and also how 1623 is planning to run a workshop on the play at Shakespeare Night later this month.


Research books for party gamesFor today, my main task has been to help plan the party for 1623’s 10th birthday.

I have spent most of the day researching Shakespeare themed games to play during the party to get everybody involved. I have found a lot of different ideas from the internet, including guessing which Shakespeare play it is by looking at different pictures for clues and also giving people a sticker with a character without looking and having to ask people “Yes” or “No” questions to try and figure out who they are supposed to be.

Insults that will feature in some of the gamesWith the games, I have thought of ideas to help get people involved who aren’t so familiar with Shakespeare, for example, giving people bullet pointed lists of information about characters so that it isn’t too hard to join in with the game. Another idea I have worked on for a game is to have quotes stuck up around the room from characters from different plays so that the guests can guess which play it is from and win a small prize if they get it right. I used some small books full of quotes from the plays and picked out some of my favourite ones to be included into the game.

My favourite insult!I also thought of playing “Shakespeare Charades” in which the guests must group into teams and act out the character or play that they are given. I thought putting people into teams would help get people involved who don’t know much about Shakespeare as people can be grouped with someone who is more knowledgeable.


My 20 pictures to sum up 1623 in the first 10 yearsAs today was my first day of work experience with 1623, I was met by artistic director Ben when I arrived at the QUAD this morning. I was invited to sit in on a meeting first thing about a project for 1623’s 10th birthday where I learned a lot about the values and achievements of the company which helped me get an idea of what the company stands for.

Using the 1623 Facebook page to find out more about the companyAfter this, I was given a tour of the QUAD building where I saw all the different areas and spaces within QUAD, including the cinemas and the workshop spaces. After this, I was shown the office space for the staff at QUAD, and given my own work space and computer to do some research about 1623 and it’s past achievements. For this, I looked at the website, and the social media and looked into the past projects and upcoming performances to get a better idea of the things that are achieved here.

My invite to 1623's 10th birthday partyI was given a task to find 20 pictures that I thought summed up the past 10 years for 1623, where I found pictures from the four different strands (performance, participation, learning and training). I found that most of the pictures I used had a wide range of people, and different ways to involve people into Shakespeare, so that everyone can participate in different things. From this I found the main ideas and views of the company which helped to give me an idea on what I would be helping to achieve this week.

I was then asked if I would like to join a meeting about budgets for an upcoming project. I found this very interesting as it helped me see more of the behind the scenes of running a theatre company, and how many things have to be taken into consideration when planning projects within the company. I have found my first day with 1623 very interesting, as I have been able to get an overall view of what the company is about, and have been able to see some of the things that go on behind the scenes of what you usually see.


Support 1623

Support 1623Join our Friends for only £5 a month and receive free tickets and a regular newsletter!

Support 1623Become a Supporter from just £10 a month and get free tickets and invitations to exclusive events!