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Associate Schools get an RSC Visit

At the beginning of March this year we have 18 associate schools taking part in our Regional Schools’ Shakespeare Festival. This will involve over 400 local children performing in 2 separate productions of Shakespeares’ Macbeth.
The Grand Theatre, Blackpool has been working in partnership with the RSC and local schools for over 5 years. The fundamental ambition of the Programme has remained the same throughout: to bring about a significant change in the way young people experience, engage with, and take ownership of the work of Shakespeare. We want to explore Shakespeare with students and teachers in the way actors do in a rehearsal room, using dynamic, active approaches. As a celebration of this work, children from the schools taking part, are coming together to put on a one hour edit of Macbeth using original Shakespearian language and text. A different 9 schools will perform twice on each day, Tuesday 6th & Thursday 8th March.

Telling a story with this many cast members is a highly ambitious and challenging feet, which is why we have called in an RSC Director Mentor, Amy Draper. She will work alongside our dedicated and talented teachers to make sure that there is continuity throughout the performances and that we tell this dramatic Shakespearian story in all its’ glory and gory! Amy has already spent a week visiting half of the cast and she will return to Blackpool next week to inspire the rest. All the teachers want to know ‘are we getting it right?’ Amy will reassure them about their directing skills and help to tweak the ideas. Just having a visit from a professional director is exciting enough for our young cast but Amy, as a representative from the RSC, really makes our children aware that this is not just a fantastic regional festival but part of a national programme. Some of our cast will even get the opportunity to travel to Stratford Upon Avon to be part of the national festival at the RSC in July.

Our Creative Learning Producer, Jo Cleasby, coordinates this project. She said, ‘We have the most amazing directors in Blackpool schools that also happen to be full time teachers. Their commitment to the young people with whom they work and the extra hours they put in are hugely appreciated. If they didn’t run rehearsals as extra-curricular activities, make costumes or fill in all the paper work this show would not be possible. Without their dedication this whole programme would not be the success it is.’

Make sure you don’t miss out on this amazing display of local talented youngsters from our associate schools. Witches, Murders and Battles, what more could you want! Get your tickets by either clicking here or call our Box Office on 01253 290190.

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