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Help - Macbeth's Banquet Scene - Fun activities

Discussion in 'English' started by Rach567, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Hi all,
    I really need some help as struggling with ideas and not feeling very inspired at the moment.
    We are running an activities day with Year 7 and our theme is a Shakespeare play. I've chosen Macbeth with the Banquet Scene.
    Has anybody got any ideas for activities that I could do with the students (who I am assuming will not know anything about the play) around this scene?
    Ideas so far:
    Freeze frames around the ideas of: best friends, betrayal, fear etc
    Shoe box stage driven by the line from the scene 'A room of state in the palace'
    Creation of Lord and Ladies Masks for the party
    Dinner plates and facebook pages

    It needs to end with a performance of the students acting out the scene which can be recorded and shown to the rest of the year group. I will have 20 students.
    I really don't want to loose focus on the language in the scene but also don't want to bombard. Any ideas would really really helpful!
    Thanks in advance
  2. Maybe something around ghosts and how they'd feel in each situation (seeing the ghost, being a guest where the host sees a ghost, Lady Macbeth trying to keep it all under control- maybe even the ghost himself!)
    Maybe get them in groups of 4, each with a card briefly explaining things (eg. "Your best friend has been acting very strangely lately, and has quickly become powerful. But you suspect he's done bad things to get there. You're right- and he's become so crazy, he's even had you killed! Now a ghost, you decide to haunt him- and where better than a big party he's throwing?" "There has been some trouble going about lately, but now there's a new king, everything looks set to improve- and even better, the new king and queen are throwing a party tonight! After all the strange goings on, you're just happy to go and celebrate- after all, you can't wait for everything to get back to normal." "Things have been really weird lately. You've met witches who've told you you'll become king and your ambitious wife has encouraged you to do some dreadful things to make that happen. Worst of all, you've had to have your best friend killed before he ruined everything. You're stressed out and guilty- but you have to throw a big party tonight. After all, you ARE the king- and what's the worst that could happen?" "You're an ambitious woman and when the opportunity comes up for you to become queen, you jump at it! Sure, it's meant killing a few people- the king and your husband's best friend- but it's all been worth it. And now there's a big party to celebrate- you can't wait! You're not going to let anything spoil it- not even your husband, the new king- the stress seems to be getting to him and he might be going a little mad. But you can handle HIM") Then get them to do some creative writing and improv work around that.
  3. Joannanna

    Joannanna New commenter

    Not sure how helpful this is, but I've done a focus on ghosts in Shakespeare with this in the past, and looked at how ghosts can be presented in performance. We looked at David Tennant's Hamlet, the reasonably old Macbeth one (forgotten who by now, how bad!) and thought about whether we'd have the ghost or not, and then they've made a decision.
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    If you really want to have fun, have students in groups doing, as a funny little cameo, the scene as the RSC would do it ("The Reduced Shakespeare Company", I mean.) Do you know their work?
  5. We do it this way to introduce it:
    I wrote out the scene events in a series of actable bullet points. (I can send this to you if you would like)
    They are in groups of 5 : Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Murderer, Lennox, Ghost
    Each group of five has a table and 4 chairs. The ghost hides himself somewhere away from the table. The guests sit in their chairs. As a whole class, but in their groups of 5, we act through the bullet points of the scene together. They have to mime everything silently and with huge expression.
    When we have practised this for a while, I do one of two things. Either I read (in different voices) the lines from the Shakespeare text (slightly cut for the purpose), or I play a recording of actors doing it. Simultaneously they do their silent movie acting to the dialogue being read aloud.
    They enjoy it, I think they like not having to grapple with the words, but also they really understand what's going on by the end.
    That takes about 1 hour to do, then you can follow up with more acting, or written activities in role or out of role.
    I have resources you can have for this plan. If you would like.
  6. Thank-you so much everyone for your ideas.They've really helped. Just made up some role cards for each of the characters at the banquet scene. Just had a look at RSC too - had heard of them but not really looked at their work. I want to make sure that what I do with them is fun and I came across some entertaining videos which I will use. Thank-you. Cutie(QT) i would really appreciate it if you could send those resources. Would be more than happy to swap with you and anybody who would be interested what I have done so far : ) My email is rachaelward30@hotmail.com
  7. We looked at David Tennant's Hamlet, the reasonably old Macbeth one (forgotten who by now, how bad!) and thought about whether we'd have the ghost or not, and then they've made a decision. [​IMG]
  8. sure no problem. I will email first thing on Monday morning as they are saved at school.

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