Shakespeare success for Harrogate school

Students perform an excerpt from Julius Caesar (s)
Students perform an excerpt from Julius Caesar (s)

A Shakespeare performance by St John Fisher drama students has impressed the RSC.

The Harrogate pupils performed an excerpt from Julius Caesar at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (WYP) earlier this year, and RSC Festival organisers were so impressed they asked the students to tread the boards at a prestigious teaching conference.

The 18 students performed at the National Association for the Teaching of English Annual Conference in Stratford-upon-Avon, home of the poet and playwright.

A school spokesperson revealed the students were given an ovation for their performance.

A statement read: “Fittingly held in Stratford-upon-Avon, the conference gave students a thunderous ovation for their verve, professionalism and commitment.”

Karl Hansen, the school’s Head of Drama said: “They have done a brilliant job bringing a 17th century text alive for a 2013 audience, without in any way compromising Shakespeare’s genius.”

The school took to the WYP to participate in the regional round of the 2013 National Royal Schools Shakespeare Festival.

More than 700 schools and 15,000 students take part annually in what has become the largest schools arts festival in the UK.

The St John Fisher group was chosen from the 700 schools to showcase the festival at last weekend’s conference.

Headteacher of St John Fisher John Wood said: “It’s easy to forget the hours and hours and indeed weekends which staff and students have to put in to achieve such high standards in sport, music and drama.

“I am very grateful.”