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‘To Sing or Not to Sing…’ Twelfth Night Quintus Benziger workshop

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Last Tuesday our English students were treated to an afternoon workshop with Quintus Benziger, exploring the ways in which Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night can be adapted as a musical! Student Alex Bentley told us what he thought…

“In our English lessons, both at A level and before at GCSE, Shakespeare has been something we have really enjoyed. For our class, studying The Twelfth Night has been fascinating and fun, as we are seeing a new side to Shakespeare. However, this is just through the single dimension of literature, and Tuesday’s workshop allowed us to see Shakespeare through an entirely different set of rules. The complexity of character in Shakespeare allows for a perfect relationship with Musical Theatre, and the versatility of music allows for new expressions of the characters that we are not always able to see in ready the play line by line. 

The next point of interest was how Quintus was able to manipulate the text, so that is could logically translate into a musical format. Something that we were specifically engaged in was the decisions of what words to cut from Shakespeare’s original text so that it was syllabically synthesised with the classical Spanish music that Quintus had selected. It was, completely, a refreshing view of Shakespeare, and I think we all thoroughly enjoyed both learning and participating in this.”