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Carnival group recreates Shakespeare scene in the woods

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If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise!   44 children from Newchurch Primary School have been hanging Love Poems in the trees at Martins Wood, to celebrate their love for nature and for William Shakespeare, inspired by the play ‘As You Like It’

The children are all taking part in the New Carnival Company’s Shakespeare Mardi Gras on 25 June at Ryde, and have been studying the play as part of their research for their carnival costumes. In the play, Orlando writes love notes to Rosalind and places them in the trees. The school has been working with Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust to identify suitable locations to create their own scene. The children’s poems will be left in place for three weeks for members of the public to view.

Sarah Wetherick, Art Coordinator at Newchurch Primary School explained “We have been learning about what it must have been like for Shakespeare’s characters to live a pastoral life in the Forest of Arden, and our poems draw inspiration from the woods on our own doorstep and reflect our own emotions and feelings about nature. It has been really valuable to link our carnival project with a greater appreciation of Shakespeare and the countryside.”

The poetry installation in Martins Wood is backed by the five year Heritage Lottery programme ‘Down to the Coast’, coordinated by the East Wight Landscape Partnership, which aims to increase the number of people learning about their local heritage, history and environment and using this knowledge to create contemporary and socially relevant narratives. The New Carnival Company has been working closely with local people in the community to develop new ideas and outdoor events that reflect this aim.

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