Contender Charlie and China Plate Present ROMEO AND JULIET - MAD BLOOD STIRRING

Contender Charlie and China Plate Present ROMEO AND JULIET - MAD BLOOD STIRRING

Independent theatre producers China Plate and foremost theatre education company Contender Charlie will be touring theatres with a new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet for upper KS2 and lower KS3 pupils, their teachers and their families. Narrated by the Friar speaking in modern English, Romeo and Juliet - Mad Blood Stirring will include striking visual effects and live music.

Using Contender Charlie's 'mythodrama' technique - a form of experiential learning successfully used for over ten years - the school package will focus on emotional and creative development, helping students become more effective at understanding their own emotions, motivations and values. Online resources will be made available to participating schools, and following the performance, students return to the theatre to meet and talk with the characters. From the hope and compassion of the Friar, to the apparent pride and fierceness of Tybalt, Contender Charlie use Shakespeare's characters to explore themes of gang violence, conflict and how far you'd go to protect what you love.

Co-Director of China Plate Paul Warwick says, "This production of Romeo and Juliet is aimed specifically at 9 to 13 year olds. When you do that, one of the big challenges you face (arguably you could say this is a challenge for any audience, but certainly for that audience) is Shakespeare's language. Now beautiful and wonderful though that language is, for some young people it can be difficult to understand and if they don't understand the story they're not getting the best out of Shakespeare's brilliant play. Our solution to that problem is to put a narrator centre stage, previously when we did Macbeth that was the porter, and in Romeo and Juliet that is our Friar. He speaks directly to the young audience in modern English and acts as a bridge between them and Shakespeare's play, making sure that moment to moment they understand what's going on, they understand who everyone is, and what's happening."

China Plate first collaborated with Contender Charlie in 2013 for Macbeth - Blood Will Have Blood to introduce young people aged 9 - 13 to Macbeth. Contender Charlie use the power of storytelling and mythology to enhance and inspire the creative learning of young people as well as their teachers and school leaders. Integrated with the performance, the workshop and classroom resources aim to support young people in the exploration of their emotional development and creative potential. They specialise in bringing the plays of Shakespeare and other mythological stories to life within a school environment; be it with issues relevant to the classroom or the staffroom. Macbeth - Blood Will Have Blood has an extraordinary track record for engaging audiences of all backgrounds in two iterations. - the first an immersive experience with a cast of five and the second was a one man show with a digital backdrop that brought the other characters to life. The show toured five times to over 30,000 young people, their teachers and families.

"Both staff and children found it thrilling, enjoyable and they made the play accessible to all abilities. The children were absolutely buzzing about the performance" - Headteacher, Pieper's Vale Community Primary School on Macbeth - Blood Will Have Blood

Established in 2006, China Plate is one of the UK's most prolific and respected independent producers of contemporary theatre, producing work that engages 25,000 audience members annually. The company's central mission is to 'challenge the way performance is made, who it's made by and who gets to experience it.' China Plate has worked with some of the UK's most talented artists, including Caroline Horton, Inspector Sands, David Edgar, Chris Thorpe, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Bagshaw, Urielle Klein-Mekongo, Dan Jones, Ben Wright, Contender Charlie, Ella Grace, Katie Lyons, and Joan Clevillé. China Plate are Associate Producers at Warwick Arts Centre, Artistic Associates at the New Wolsey Theatre where they are Directors of PULSE Festival, Programmers of New Directions (the NRTF showcase) and partners with The Place, The NRTF and Take Art on the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

Running Time: 70 mins (performance) plus 25 mins (workshop and Q&A for school audiences only)

Most suited for ages 9 - 13 (or Years 5 to 8)

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