STUDENTS brought some of Shakespeare’s finest works to life at a festival at the New Theatre Royal.
The theatre hosted the Shakespeare Schools Festival – the UK’s largest youth drama festival that sees children from a number of local schools take to the stage to perform four different Shakespeare plays.
Thousands of children from schools across the country take part in their local theatres. Each school performs a half-hour segment.
The students spent the day rehearsing together and then they each performed a half-hour segment from a Shakespeare play on stage last night.
Grant Challen is the head of drama at Henry Cort Community College in Fareham. The students were performing Hamlet.
He said: ‘It’s something we have done for five years. It’s such an amazing opportunity for our students to perform on a professional stage. It shows them what theatre can be like. It gives them an opportunity to see where this can go.’
And Mr Challen said it’s good for the students to perform Shakespeare plays.
‘The great thing is the fact that they are brilliant stories so that’s why they still engage with it.’
Emily Phillips, 15, is in Year 11. She added: ‘It’s good because it’s a different experience to all the other plays that I usually do.’
Alex Dudley, 14, in Year 10 said: ‘I really enjoyed it. It’s nice to perform in bigger theatres.’
Festival co-ordinator Francesca Ellis said: ‘We believe in giving young people a challenge so they have got something to aspire to, something to work hard at and something to really get excited about.
‘The sense of achievement when you have struggled with something and then achieved it in front of an audience on the night is like absolutely nothing else.
‘It builds confidence, it builds self-esteem and it boosts aspiration for these young people coming together and achieving in front of an audience.’
Students from King Richard School in Paulsgrove, Ark Ayrton Primary Academy in Somers Town and Miltoncross School in Southsea also took part in the festival yesterday.