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Once upon a time in Stratford-upon-Avon

Posted on: 13/03/2019

Once upon a time in Stratford-upon-Avon lived a boy named William Shakespeare. Little did this humble, historic Tudor town know about his posthumous effect on the world of literature. Ten of Willowfield’s finest students accompanied our neighbour Kelmscott school on a mission to discover Shakespeare’s roots for themselves; chaperoned about town on a snowy morning by a Shakespearean tour guide whom explained all the delights of sixteenth-century life; lunch in McDonalds and perusing the Royal Shakespeare Company’s gift shop; to watching the vibrant and relevant Timon of Athens at the RSC later that evening – this was a real literary feast. The next day, students participated in a RSC drama workshop before travelling home.

Timon of Athens is a play about the Athenian Timon who is super generous to all her (a man in the play but played by a woman in this production) friends, doling out money to whomever asks or needs it. Timon has it all – money, influence, friends. Surely it can’t last? When the money runs out, Timon soon finds herself alone, friendless and penniless. She flees to the forest to take refuge, cursing the city she once loved.

In a world driven by greed, what do we truly value? Many of our students commented on the parallels this play has with social media and the desire for fame today – we all want to be famous, but at what cost? Is it all about the individual and money? What happens to those we love?

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