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BLACKPOOL SCHOOLS IN STRATFORD

Last week, 15 children represented 13 different local Blackpool Schools, in Stratford, on the 3 and 4 July. This was part of the RSC Associate Schools Playmaking Festival where the pupils were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform on the RSC Main Stage. We are not sure if it was the pupils or the accompany staff that were more excited!

To prepare for their performance the students came together to rehearse the murder of Banquo and the appearance of his ghost at a banquet. Our Creative Learning Director, Jo Cleasby was astounded by the ability of the pupils’ to shape the scene and direct the piece collaboratively with her. She said; ‘The pupil’s ideas and creativity was testament to the hard work of all the teachers that throughout the year to give children the best possible introduction to Shakespeare, by doing it on their feet!’

Linda Marr, Head of Drama at Highfield Leadership Academy describes the experience below; ‘Yesterday was fantastic – pupils learning what it was like to act in a professional theatre – performing Shakespeare on the very stage as the likes of Dame Judy Dench, David Tennent and of course in the recent ‘Macbeth’, Christopher Eccleston. After a very quick technical run through to check transitions, the pupils completed a full run-through. This was the first opportunity for the pupils to see the sections performed by pupils from around the country. Pupils sat in the Gallery during the performance which was a great opportunity to observe different approaches to the scenes. Our pupils did an amazing job in their performance to the audience – totally professional and engaging. They were able to speak Shakespeare’s words on the Royal Shakespeare Stage with clarity and understanding.’

Of her experience, Megan, our student selected to play Macbeth, said; ‘It was a special moment acting on the RSC Stage. Working with many actors has given me a life changing experience. From this, my career in acting could be made. It’s been good making friends from many different schools too.’

We are now looking forward to another exceptional year of Shakespeare. We have an Autumn production of Comedy of Errors and the new year will see an exciting production of Romeo & Juliet. Both productions will see young people performing alongside the RSC on our main stage!

If you are interested in finding out more about our Associate Schools Programme or the work our Creative Learning Team do contact; joc@blackpoolgrand.co.uk

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