Hartlepool school uses theatre show to showcase new facilities

Manor Academy students forming the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the first production in the new school building. Photograph by FRANK REID

Manor Academy students forming the cast of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the first production in the new school building. Photograph by FRANK REID

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A Hartlepool school celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a show that toured their new £14million building.

The performing arts department at Manor Community Academy staged its first production since the new-look school opened its doors in April.

(left to right) Titania (Hattie Wright), Oberon (Daniel Stuart), Puck (Ellie Tabley and Nicole Grey) from the cast of A Midsummer Nights Dream, the first production in the new Manor Academy building. Photograph by FRANK REID

(left to right) Titania (Hattie Wright), Oberon (Daniel Stuart), Puck (Ellie Tabley and Nicole Grey) from the cast of A Midsummer Nights Dream, the first production in the new Manor Academy building. Photograph by FRANK REID

Talented students from its performing arts wing, The Academy at Manor, have been staging a special version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream over the last two nights to fellow students, family and the wider community.

Ellie Hopwood, director of The Academy at Manor, said: “It is to commemorate the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and is also our first show in the new building.

“To show off the building we are doing a promenade performance.

“That means the audience don’t just sit and watch it in the theatre they walk around the school with the actors.

It gives the audience the opportunity to view the new building in a different context

Ellie Hopwood, director of The Academy at Manor

“It gives the audience the opportunity to view the new building in a different context.”

A cast of around 25 Key Stage 3 pupils performed an edited version of the play produced specially for schools by the Royal Shakespeare Company on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Ellie added all the performing arts students are loving their new facilities which include dance and drama studios, music rooms and theatre.

“The new building itself is amazing and we are very lucky to have it,” she said.

(left to right) Lucy Wright, Nathan Clark, Georgia Ainsley and Connor Measor, cast members of A Midsummer Nights Dream, the first production in the new Manor Academy building. Photograph by FRANK REID

(left to right) Lucy Wright, Nathan Clark, Georgia Ainsley and Connor Measor, cast members of A Midsummer Nights Dream, the first production in the new Manor Academy building. Photograph by FRANK REID

“The pupils have settled in incredibly well and really made it home.

“The performing arts facilities are unbelievable.”
And following the school’s motto of Open To All, they are available for every student to take advantage of.

Manor Community Academy, which has been sponsored by the Northern Education Trust since March 2015, has been rebuilt following a £14million investment under the Government’s Priority School Build Programme.

It also features state of the art science and technology rooms and a carefully designed area for students with special educational needs.

The old building which is 50 years old this year is due to demolished in September.