Lady Macbeth's hunt for hand sanitiser a winning idea

Putting Shakespearean characters into the modern world helped secure a prestigious win for Tomaree High.

Students in costume on and in front of a stage. Students in costume on and in front of a stage.
Image: Tomaree High students scripted and starred in the short film 'The Bard Baffles The Bay'.

Tomaree High School has won a prestigious award at the Bell Shakespeare Shorts Festival.

The school entered a five-minute film inspired by Shakespeare and his works and was one of only two public schools shortlisted as a finalist, winning the Community Spirit Prize.

The competition featured entries from schools across the county.

Festival organisers said the standard of films entered in this year’s competition was of the highest quality.

“We were blown away by the talent and creativity of young filmmakers nationwide,” they said.

Tomaree High English teacher Sarah Barnard said students wrote and acted in the film and assisted with the creation of costumes and sets.

“The film was devised by students in Year 7 and 10. They were inspired by the concept of what would happen if Shakespeare’s characters turned up in modern-day Nelson Bay,” she said.

“Students used existing knowledge of Shakespeare and researched characters to form the foundations of the film.

“They chose their characters and thought about what if Juliet was free to make her own choices? We also saw Lady Macbeth in Woolworths looking for hand sanitiser.”

Ms Barnard and fellow Tomaree High English teacher Anh Ly have worked with Bell Shakespeare through the Regional Teacher Mentorship Program.

They used the knowledge they had gained through the program to support their students in scripting the film as well as other production elements.

“We were thrilled to win the Community Spirit Prize. All of the students worked really hard and it was wonderful to gain national recognition,” Ms Barnard said.

“We’ve won the opportunity for Bell Shakespeare to come and perform at our school.

“This award has inspired us and we are keen to submit another film next year. It has been wonderful to watch the students bring Shakespeare to life.”

Watch Tomaree High’s winning film here.

A girl in costume holding a sword and standing on a giant chess board. A girl in costume holding a sword and standing on a giant chess board.
Image: Lady Macbeth was hunting for hand sanitiser.
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