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TAG Theatre Company

TAG Theatre Company is the longest standing touring theatre company in Scotland.   It draws upon its unmatched experience to bring outstanding professional performances.  Each one is designed to engage and inspire children and youth across Scotland.

Fight Scene from TAG's King Lear; Photo: Tim Morozzo

This autumn, TAG presents a tour of interactive workshops for Primary 6 and 7 children, with the intention to introduce the magic of Shakespeare by creating a truly unforgettable experience for the young audience. 

TAG pioneered this full day format of workshops and performance in 1999, when they brought a project inspired by Julius Caesar to primary school children.  Throughout October and November this year, TAG return to this format with Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The King Lear workshop and performance

Up to 100 children take part in each day long event.  The day begins with a short extract from the play, performed by the four actors leading the workshop.  Then, split into groups of around 25, the children are given a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare, the story of King Lear, its characters and the language.  They are led through the plot throughout, yet the very end of the story is kept a surprise.

Through a series of games, the children learn about different roles and participatory elements of the coming piece.  In the interactive performance they have numerous roles to play; actions to take and lines to say.

The afternoon's production of the King Lear story is as adapted by Peter Arnott. The tale was shortened by using only the parts most exciting for a young audience.  In addition, the actors perform and mix with the children.

TAG's King Lear with knights; Photo: Tim Morozzo
They move throughout the elaborate set which is covered in a silken canopy.  The whole day, therefore, is vibrant and energetic.

The feedback

The response from the participating schools has been tremendous:

'We had a fantastic day which culminated in the most wonderful school theatre production I have ever seen.  I was impressed with all the members of the TAG team and the ways in which they engaged with the children.' 

 (Anderson’s Primary School, Forres)

TAG's King Lear with pupils; Photo: Tim Morozzo

'P6M would like to say a big thank you to all of the cast and production team of King Lear.  We thought the idea of the workshops was especially useful.  In the afternoon we really felt we were part of the performance rather than just an audience.'

(Primary 6M, Applegrove Primary School)

'Pitched at the right level - it was great to see pupils getting completely caught up in the production.' 'Many, many thanks for a super day.'

(Teacher, Hythehill Primary School)

Perhaps the most valued feedback is that from the children themselves. 

Some fantastic sample letters are available to download from TAG's website (see links to the right), as well as an article about TAG's King Lear published in the Sunday Herald on 21 November 2004.

The project also featured on the BBC Artworks programme on Sunday 21 November 2004 in a programme entitled "Shakespeare for Beginners".

Recent productions

Earlier this year, TAG also produced Love like Salt, a traditional folk tale from which Shakespeare took inspiration for King Lear. The storyline of Lear and his daughters has its roots in this tale.  More information about TAG’s production of Love like Salt, as well as others, can be found on the TAG website.

Shakespeare
* Theme - Shakespeare
* Profile - James Brining
 
Related links
* TAG theatre
* A King Lear resource pack for teachers
* Scottish Arts Council Education homepage
* Pupil letter one
* Pupil letter two
* Pupil letter three
 
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