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Students From Bradford Schools Are Heading To Stratford To Perform ‘The Scottish Play’
Bradford College pupils rehearse a scene with Macbeth and the Three Weird Sisters. Standing, from left to right, Rebecca Mitchell, Joshua Allan and Laura Broughton-James. Sitting, Alana Singh
Sixteen students from four Bradford schools have been rehearsing an edited version of Macbeth and will perform alongside young people from across the country on Thursday (July 7) as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Playmaking Festival.

The festival will see the students perform at The Other Place, a 200-seat studio owned by RSC, and is the culmination of a busy year of Shakespeare in Bradford.

The schools involved are Feversham College, Bradford College, St Bede’s & St Joseph’s Catholic College, and Dixons Cottingley Academy.

Laura Broughton-Janes, 16, a student at Bradford College said: “It has been great working together with the people from the other schools. We decided to use a physical approach to explore our chosen script. It has been very interesting playing with the ideas of how the Weird Sisters are involved in the story of Macbeth, and how to show the control that they have over what happens. We are really looking forward to performing in Stratford.”

The students have taken sections of the play to work on in their schools, supported by their teachers and have had only a few rehearsals as a full company to pull all the sections together under the expert guidance of their director-mentor, Julia O’Keeffe.

Julia said: “The day of the festival itself will be so exciting and a really powerful example of what our young people can do when they work together.

“It has been a joy to see students from Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 and Year 12 at different schools all working as one. The experience and the skills that they have learned will be useful in all areas of their lives.”

On Friday, pupils from Baildon Church of England Primary School, Low Ash Primary School, Shipley Primary School and Titus Salt School will come together to share the work that they have done over the year.

Examples of written work and art inspired by Shakespeare as well as performances of scenes from several plays will all feature in the celebration event.

All of this work has been encouraged and supported through the RSC Associate Schools Programme, a partnership between Bradford College, The Alhambra Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company. It is this partnership that is the key to the success of the programme.

The college is one of only a handful of schools nationwide to be selected as a Lead Associate School which means it works with local schools and theatres to immerse teachers and students in new approaches to Shakespeare’s plays

Later this year, in December, Bradford College will host two performances of the RSC First Encounters: Comedy of Errors which will feature young people from the Bradford area performing alongside professional actors.

In April next year, The Alhambra has Erica Whyman’s acclaimed production of Romeo and Juliet for one week only. The schools involved in the Associate Schools programme will also work towards a larger performance festival.

Students From Bradford Schools Are Heading To Stratford To Perform ‘The Scottish Play’, 5th July 2018, 6:58 AM