Nov 14 2012 by Linda Foo Guest, Birkenhead News
A WIRRAL primary school has been praised by Education Secretary Michael Gove for its Shakespearean performance of Macbeth.
Overchurch Junior School was selected to perform as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF) in May at London’s Royal Court Theatre.
The school in Upton were one of four chosen from 700 to perform - and the only primary school.
Last week the Education Secretary pledged £140,000 a year to the festival following his attendance at the gala.
And during his announcement, he singled out Overchurch’s production of Macbeth as particularly impressing him, saying he was ‘enraptured’ by it.
Mr Gove said: “I was enraptured by a Shakespeare Schools Festival performance of Macbeth by a primary school at the Royal Court earlier this year.”
The school’s production of Macbeth starred 10-year-old pupils.
Overchurch teacher Stuart Rathe added: “The school is thrilled to have been recognised by the Education Secretary for our theatre production of Macbeth in the West End.
“He was one of a number of high profile guests who watched Overchurch perform an extract from the ‘Scottish Play’.
“The event was hosted by Sue Perkins and Jenny Agutter, and celebrated the best of the best of the national drama festival.”
Success of the West End show and the glowing compliment has spurred the school to create another Shakespeare production of Romeo and Juliet, performed at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion.
Mr Rathe added: “The Education Secretary’s ringing endorsement came just as the school entertained our audience with Romeo and Juliet – a brand new Shakespeare Schools Festival production with an entirely new cast of 10-year-olds.
“I think our new show would impress Mr Gove just as much as our last.”