Throughout the summer, Stories of Lynn and Norfolk Museums Service with support from the Borough Council are providing an exciting and fun programme of Shakespeare-inspired activities to engage young people and their families both with the work of The Bard, and the history of one of King’s Lynn’s most treasured historic assets – St George’s Guildhall.
Rachael Williams, Learning and Engagement Officer at Stories of Lynn, said: “We’ve come up with exciting programme of activities as a way of introducing young people and their families to the wonderful work of William Shakespeare. Clearly, the texts themselves can be quite off-putting and inaccessible for young people, but the stories stand the test of time and contain magic, mystery, murder, intrigue, love – all the ingredients of a good tale. By making them easy to understand and creating an immersive fun experience, young people will develop an interest that will stay with them forever.”
Tim FitzHigham, who presented shows on CBBC and is in Paddington 2, is now Interim Creative Director at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk. He said: “These are exactly the sorts of activities we want to be taking place at the Guildhall. we’re thrilled that they are happening. There’s a great power in children and young people and I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Come along and join the fun.
“We’re working hard with the King’s Lynn Town Deal Board, National Trust, Norfolk Museums Service following a community consultation, to create a vision for the Guildhall that is vibrant and exciting and can offer more opportunities like this. We’ve put together a vision for the Guildhall which is vibrant and exciting. In a nutshell, we want to preserve the arts, embrace the past and build a future that is economically sustainable. Our plan is to create a nationally important art, cultural and heritage centre at the heart of King’s Lynn which will have at its core, the oldest working theatre in the country.”
The first recorded performance at the St George’s Guildhall dates back to 1445.
Tim continued: “For kids and families this summer, we’re saying, come and have fun, make things, laugh and play with Shakespeare’s stories in the only working theatre left where we can credibly claim William Shakespeare also played. I think he would love it and we hope the young people and children that come will too.”
“The activity sessions that will be delivered by Stories of Lynn and Norfolk Museums Service will give people a chance to have a good look around the theatre, see what’s going to be happening, as well as getting on stage and playing a Shakespearean character. We’ve got activities for all so come along and get involved: it would be lovely to see you.”
The activities are split into two different age groups: Play in a day for 11-25 year olds; and Shake it all out for 5-12 year olds – who must be accompanied by an adult.
Play in a Day
£3 per session. Sessions run 10:30am to 2pm. Refreshments provided but bring your own lunch.
Thursday 11 August: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Thursday 18 August: Macbeth
Explore the St George’s Guildhall theatre, listen to the story, then get in character. Make a prop, try on a costume and makeup, and learn and perform three short scenes from the play.
Shake it all out
£2 per child, accompanying adult free. Sessions run 10:30am – 11:45am, 12:30pm to -1:45pm and 2pm to 3:15pm. Recommended for ages 5–12. All those attending a session must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Explore St George’s theatre, enjoy a short, family friendly version of the story, then get involved with activities inspired by each play, before dressing up and delivering your lines on stage.
Wednesday 3 August: Fairy fun (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Make wands and wings and animal masks.
Wednesday 10 August: Montagues vs Capulets (Romeo and Juliet)
Make swords and shields.
Wednesday 17 August: Ink-credible Shakespeare (As You Like It)
Make your own ink and write with a quill pen.
Wednesday 24 August: Bill’s boats (The Tempest)
Make junk model boats and test their strength against stormy waters.
Wednesday 31 August: Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble (Macbeth)
Make a witch’s brew and create your own spell.
Booking for the session is essential and must be done through the Corn Exchange box office – www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk