Katy Cawkwell, Storyteller: 0776 246 9059           Exeter, UK

"‘All the world’s a stage’ and Katy Cawkwell was our player!

Katy has a sensational plethora of Shakespearean plotlines. Her enthusiasm, energy and overall performance quality immersed our students into the world of 'Macbeth' and tragedy. A must see and we can’t wait to welcome her back again to West Buckland School!" Head of English on performance for Y9s


"Katy Cawkwell managed to capture both the importance of the setting and the fluctuating character dynamics in her solo performance of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'. She pitched appropriately to her audience of Year 7 pupils, illuminating their understanding of some of the mythical connotations, whilst showcasing how fundamental voice, movement and sound effects are in sustaining the interest of an audience both young and old! The significance of the play as a dramatic construct certainly came to the fore, and the fact that a number of pupils asked some sophisticated questions at the end about the story's metaphorical allusions, protagonists, antagonists and villains and victims, suggests that Katy Cawkwell may well be returning to help with 'Hamlet' in Year 8!" English teacher, West Buckland School


“Our Year 7’s were enthralled by an inspirational and brand new re telling of Shakespeare’s Tempest performed by storyteller Katy Cawkwell” Librarian, Secondary School, Devon

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Shakespeare Retold: The Tempest and Macbeth

"Once upon a time in Italy, there was a great city in the North and a great city in the South..."

"One thousand years ago in Scotland, there was a king.  And this king was under attack from the West and from the East..."


Katy has created two schools performances, one hour each, which unravel the narrative within two of Shakespeare's greatest plays.  She remains utterly faithful to the text, giving students a memorable understanding of the whole plot and how the characters relate and interact with each other.


These are dramatic performances, weaving snippets of Shakespeare's language within Katy's robust, direct storytelling style.  They are suitable as an introduction for those who have no knowledge of the play and also a brilliant recap and chance to hear some of the original language spoken aloud for those who have been studying it in depth.    


The Tempest covers the full back story of the political intrigue in Italy, the events on the island before the play begins and Claribel's wedding, as well as following all three groups upon the island: Ferdinand and Miranda, Caliban, Stephano & Trinculo and Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio & Gonzalo.   We also touch upon the masque, with a brief introduction of each of the mythological figures.  Katy gives a sense of Ariel's persona, his enchantment and his song, and of the complexity of the figures of Prospero and Caliban, each sympathetic and unattractive in turn.  This leads naturally to good post-performance discussion of how the characters may be viewed.


Macbeth broadly follows the chronological action of the play, focussing on King Duncan and his sons, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Banquo and his son, Macduff  and, of course, the Witches.  Macbeth's tragic trajectory from heroic, loyal thane to bloody butcher and Lady Macbeth's ambition and influence are brought out.  There is particular dramatic attention to the the prophecies and how each works out and the complex sequence of action on the night of the murder itself.


Each performance lasts 1 hr and it is good to have time for questions/discussion afterwards.  Suitable for Y6+

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