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SLIDESHOW: Ely St Mary’s Junior students stage Henry V

By Ely News  |  Posted: June 30, 2014

  • Jake and Will, the Ely St Mary's Junior School pupils who played Henry in Henry V.

  • Children before the start of their performance of Henry V at Ely St Mary's Junior School to celebrate the war's centenary.

  • Children before the start of their performance of Henry V at Ely St Mary's Junior School to celebrate the war's centenary.

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Pupils at Ely St Mary’s Junior School staged Shakespeare’s Henry V to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.

And a panoramic set created by artist in residence, Antonia Ward, helped to get the youngsters into the spirit of the period.

James Hickish, the school’s head and who directed the play, said: “We wanted to find a creative way to commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War.

“In 1944 Laurence Olivier’s ground-breaking film of Henry V was directed very much with the themes of the Second World War in mind, so why not set our stage version of Shakespeare’s history play in the First World War, and use Shakespeare’s words to explore the timeless themes of war?

“The children have responded wonderfully to the challenge of learning lines, song lyrics and to performing Elizabethan language in a 20th century setting.

“A particular challenge of this project has been to help the children understand the differences between the different historical periods which we are exploring: the Edwardian period of the First World War; the Elizabethan period of Shakespeare’s time, and the Lancastrian period when Henry was king.

“We think all the children have risen wonderfully to this challenge and are presenting a powerful and moving play.”

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