Thank you for bringing the magic of the Nottingham Shakespeare Company to the Samhain Market at Sneinton Market Avenues.
Surprise and delight… this is what happens when Shakespeare’s words are brought to life in the real world, as if we were witnessing his stories taking place around us on the Square, in the Avenues, even in the pub and coffee shop! A wonderful way to engage both the head and the heart. Immersive Shakespeare!
Of course, the company was a delight to work with as well. The players arrived early and even volunteered to help with set-up! As a few issues arose during the event, you dealt with them independently, intelligently and professionally. I’m so glad we worked with you on this event.
I have known and worked with Michelle for five years, both as a teaching colleague and as a member of the Nottingham Shakespeare Company.
As a teacher, Michelle is outstanding in her empathic and effective manner of dealing with pupils and students of all abilities. She is encouraging and always insists on their best performance in every context. I observed her remarkable work with year 7 students who not only performed scenes from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for other pupils to watch but were also able to coach visiting year 6 pupils to take on the roles that they had demonstrated. They had a full understanding not only of the language they had learnt but also of the roles they played and the nature of the interaction of the characters that they were able to help the year 6 students understand.
Michelle is devoted to Shakespearean drama and strongly feels that it is her mission in life to make it accessible to anyone. Because of this, she has founded the Nottingham Shakespeare Company, which has successfully performed whole Shakespeare plays as street theatre around Nottingham in July 2019 (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which I performed); a production of 12th Night rehearsed under lockdown restrictions in 2021, and most recently this July, A Comedy of Errors. Future plans include a production of ‘A Winter’s Tale ‘, with a professional director, to be performed in January at St Mary’s Nottingham and Southwell Cathedral. The energy and organisational ability required to gather a group of actors, find rehearsal space, direct them and their technical support, and find suitable performance venues on Nottingham’s streets and open spaces is evidence enough of her determination, especially as she was also working full-time as an English teacher. The performances gathered significant audience numbers and enough funds from voluntary contribution to be able to pay the actors. Michelle herself has also played demanding roles in these productions.
Moving on from these projects, Michelle is now concerned with starting Nottingham Shakespeare Outreach. The intention is to develop activities and extension work to take into schools to assist students to overcome the barriers to understanding Shakespeare presented by the need to study text on the page in the classroom.
Her charismatic directorial skills will help her to establish a positive and responsive atmosphere and allow students to discover their own understanding of the texts they are studying. This can only be of benefit to all forms of English study.
Sarah Marshall – Retired English teacher. 15thAugust 2022.
Contact details: SAJMarshall1@outlook.com
I worked with the Nottingham Shakespeare Company when I had the amazing opportunity to be cast in the NSC 2022 summer season Comedy Of Errors playing the Merchant Winston.
The benefits I have had when working for the company were that I had the opportunity to perform in a professional Shakespeare performance (open air/indoor venue.) Since working in this professional environment I have now taken these skills to an accredited drama school in London using the knowledge to perform at my best and with the confidence to back it up.
Michelle herself was exceptionally helpful when I first had a professional paid acting job helping with my french accent (when my confidence for that kind of thing was nowhere) in a murder mystery for fancy entertainment and as a result I have consistently been booked for jobs with that company.
My auditioning experience was very positive and welcoming. I know what a good audition experience is like so take my word for it; I had to audition for multiple drama schools. Michelle knows how to get the best out of you in an audition and makes you relaxed as possible throughout.
I think what other people will get out of working for the Nottingham Shakespeare Company and Michelle is a sense of community. I'm in London and I miss everyone I worked with during the Comedy Of Errors ever so much; it was the best job I've had of late and were I to be able to be in another production; I wouldn't hesitate.
My first encounter with Nottingham Shakespeare Company was at a Macbeth workshop in October 2021. I hadn't acted in at least 5 years but the laid back and encouraging atmosphere on the day meant I had no trouble opening myself up to Shakespeare's words in front of a group.
Artistic Director, Michelle-Louise Wright, gave one-on-one feedback after performing my soliloquy and that gave me the knowledge to start improving my acting and the confidence to audition for the company's summer production.
Auditions can be intimidating, particularly to someone like me who hadn't performed in years. However, the workshop allowed me to play with the text and prepared me for future auditions.
Additionally, Michelle's analysis of the literary techniques in the soliloquies provoked me to consider things I hadn't before, such as allusions: 'If it were done when tis done, then 'twere well it was done quickly' is very similar to Jesus telling Judas 'That thou doest, do quickly'. This close reading of the text really helped and pushed my marks up when I studied Macbeth at Univeristy - making the workshop ideal for those studying Macbeth at all levels of education!