Thirty-four excited third-year Rosses Community School students have recently returned from a long weekend spent in London and Stratford-Upon-Avon to celebrate two great authors, Roald Dahl and William Shakespeare.
Roald Dahl, who would have been 100 years old in September of this year, has written many fascinating and imaginative books for young people. The third-year students and their teachers marked this celebration by going to see “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on the stage at the Lyric Theatre in London.
The students were enthralled by the production, which featured Charlie and his grandparents as well as a wonderful array of imaginative Oompa-Loompas and mechanical squirrels, not forgetting the chocolate room which swallowed up poor Augustus Gloop.
For many students, this was their first time to visit the West End and they were clearly very impressed by the acting and the staging of the book as well as the music.
Roald Dahl's message that somewhere inside all of us we have the power to change the world certainly came home to the students and school staff in the marvellous production.
Rosses Community School plans to celebrate a special Roald Dahl day in the school on Tuesday, 18th October, and the Transition Year classes are already preparing for this.
After a fun day in Thorpe Park on the Saturday of their visit, the RCS group ventured to Stratford-Upon-Avon on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning.
The crowds were already gathering in the remarkable town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, home to playwright William Shakespeare, as the RCS group made their way to the centre to visit his home. In each room they visited, the group was hosted by an attendant dressed up in the 16th-century costume that was suitable for their role and explaining the position they would have held at that time.
The students were struck by how tiny the rooms were as well as the size of the clothes and the beds in the bedrooms. It was explained that the people in 16th-century Stratford were very small due to the diet at the time and life expectancy was around 45-50 years old.
When the students came out into the beautiful gardens the Shakespeare Players were performing some of the most memorable speeches and scenes from his plays. They encouraged the students to ask for their favourite scenes, and of course “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Merchant of Venice” figured very highly on their list.
The students also got to join in with the players in a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, with Gerry Doherty, one of the accompanying teachers, playing the part of the lion with great gusto.
After walking down the famous Henley Street in Stratford the Rosses contingent all went on a river cruise down the River Avon, where they observed the beautiful swans and ducks as well as the famous Stratford Theatre where William Shakespeare's plays are performed frequently.
They also saw the beautiful church where the great Bard of Avon is buried.
After leaving Stratford, they went on a quick tour of Oxford town, home to the world-renowned Oxford University.
All together the group had a packed weekend but it was a very enjoyable experience.
This visit should be particularly useful to the third-year students with the new Junior Certificate English course coming on stream. They will be able to use their experiences in London and Stratford for their oral assessment or for any written assessment and give their opinions on what they have learned from this valuable trip.