Bryanston Primary School puts on a memorable Heritage Month performance of Romeo and Juliet

The cast of Romeo and Juliet from Bryanston Primary School. Picture: Supplied

For the first time in its 63-year history, Bryanston Primary School’s Grade 7 youngsters took to the national stage as participants in the annual Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa (SSF SA), performed at the Joburg Theatre.

Their cross-cultural interpretation of a classic William Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, was well received. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a world-renowned tragedy of star-crossed lovers, who are engulfed by their feuding families. The audience was pleasantly surprised with the postmodern and contemporary themes, infused with African flavour and colour.

“This version of Romeo and Juliet was the result of a fusion between Europe and Africa, staged during Heritage Month. The story is universal, so it made the production identifiable while costumes took on a vibrant African theme,” said director Luke Adamczyk.

Adamczyk said the experience fostered a self-directed, independent and enthusiastic attitude to the theatre for the entire cast and production. “Our educators have brought out the best in each of us through this experience and marvelled at our transformation and growth in doing so well.”

The fusion between African and European themes found expression in the spirit and colour of the African continent while the language remained true to original Shakespearean form.

The cast had been rehearsing since March and throughout their time together, they developed a special bond with one another.

“The group formed a bond and we supported each other through the long hours. It was wonderful watching the production develop. The confidence and self-esteem of all involved improved from this positive experience.”

Adamczyk also said that people can look forward to more productions of this nature in the future.

“Bryanston Primary School’s culture department excelled in this production; not only did the cast embrace the language of Shakespeare, which is part of the curriculum, but there has been so much interest from other learners wishing to get involved and be a part of a production of this magnitude and so, there will be many more!”

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