Queen Elizabeth Park stage Shakespeare production with local schoolchildren

Queen Elizabeth Park stage Shakespeare production with local schoolchildren zoom

Queen Elizabeth Park care home has teamed up with a local theatre company to stage a performance of Shakespeare’s iconic Macbeth – starring local school children and residents.

The home linked up with Guildford Shakespeare Company and Weyfield Primary School with the aim of bridging generations through theatre and building stronger ties with the community.

Residents at the 77-bed home, which offers personalised residential, nursing, respite, dementia and end-of-life care, acted alongside the children to entertain their fellow residents, their loved ones and the home’s team members.

Lifestyle coordinator, Jackie Avenell, said: “We really wanted to stage something unique for the residents, many of whom have a real love of theatre and knowledge of Shakespeare.

“There has been so much positivity around hosting this workshop and performance at our home and bringing the two generations together. They have so much to offer each other and we could really see how much the children and our residents gained.

The home has recently received a ‘Highly Commended’ at the Great British Care Awards for ‘Putting People First’ so it was no surprise that they were delighted to get involved.

Resident, Sonia Williams, is no stranger to performing having once shared the stage with wartime singing legend Dame Vera Lynn.

“I did try a talent show when I was 17 in our youth club,” Sonia remembers. “I volunteered to sing a song, but when I was on stage I lost my voice!

“But I had the opportunity to get up on stage with Vera Lynn when I was just 20 so it was great to be involved in performing again.”

Shakespeare team member, Jemima Solway, added: “The aim is to reduce social isolation through intergenerational performance and theatre.

“This workshop has created the opportunity to break barriers down between different generations and it has enabled the residents and children to come together to produce a fun form of drama.”

Care home manager, Heather De-Ninis, concluded: “This collaboration is everything we are about at Queen Elizabeth Park, working with the community and offering a range of creative activities for our residents.

“The impact on both the residents and the children has been huge and seeing the children and residents working together to put this performance on has been really special.