The nominations for the British Academy Children’s Awards have been announced, and Professor Michael Cordner’s interactive DVD, Romeo & Juliet In Performance, has been nominated for a BAFTA in the ‘Learning – Secondary’ category. The full list of nominees can be found here.
The DVD, designed as an interactive Shakespeare resource for students studying GCSE English, was produced by Ian Wall and Film Education in association with the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York, and was based on Cordner’s ongoing research into the performance of Elizabethan and Jacobean drama. The DVD both features and was filmed by several members of the department’s staff and student body, including Dr Tom Cantrell, Luke de Belder – at the time a second year student, and two of the department’s production officers, Matt Brannan and Chris Robins.
‘Shakespeare in Performance – Romeo and Juliet seeks to actively engage students with Shakespeare’s text through a series of exercises which are both critical and creative. The resource encourages students to examine the text through a series of exercises which are both critical and creative. The resource encourages students to examine the text and consider it as a blueprint for a performance – in this case, a filmic performance of the text. Students need to think about how the text itself might be performed and the ways in which Shakespeare’s words can be interpreted, exploring the link between textual interpretation and and the actual staging and performing of the text.’ – Wall and Cordner, Romeo and Juliet in Performance
The DVD, which contains comparative extracts from four feature film versions of the play, leads students through the staging of scenes of Romeo and Juliet from script to performance and through to editing the filmed sequences. Students can view multiple versions of the scene, as well as interviews with the director, Michael Cordner and one of the actors, Tom Cantrell, explaining the process.
The DVD has now been distributed to over 4000 secondary schools.
Here is a short extract showing some of the interviews and scenes in performance: