York Students at Royal Shakespeare Theatre


York 1 credit Rob FreemanPupils from seven schools in York will tread the boards at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre next month as part of a national celebration of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Learning and Performance Network (LPN).

The Head That Wears A Crown takes place in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) on 8 July 2015 and will involve 100 pupils from 45 primary, secondary and special schools across Cornwall, Southampton, Birmingham, York, Hull and Middlesbrough. All of the schools involved in the celebration form part of the RSC’s LPN – a three year national partnership programme with 400 schools and 10 regional theatre partners throughout England that aims to transform experiences of Shakespeare’s work for young people in schools.

The afternoon will include six performances in total – one from each of the six regions. Over the past few months, each region has selected its cast from a number of local or ‘cluster’ schools and have been working with practitioners from the RSC and York Theatre Royal, to explore Shakespeare’s Henry’s plays. Each group has then chosen a scene to rehearse from Henry IV parts 1 and 2 or Henry V which tells the story of Prince Hal’s journey from errant prince to the victorious King Henry V. The final performances will see each ‘cluster’ performing their finished piece in front of a live audience in the RST.

In York, the cluster is made up of fourteen pupils from seven schools led by York High School and Julian Ollive from York Theatre Royal.

Julian Ollive, Education & Young Actors’ Associate at York Theatre Royal said:

The festival in Stratford is a wonderful way to close the three-year journey of our participation in the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network programme. By bringing together children and young people from all our seven partnership schools into a single performance augments the central theme of ensemble that is embedded in the project. The programme has been about bringing people together to learn and experience new ways of understanding and performing Shakespeare and there’s no better way to celebrate this than with our fellow regional partners on the RST stage on July 8th.

An estimated 500 people are expected to watch the performances including parents, RSC staff and invited VIPs.