Shakespeare brought to life at high school

Cotswold Journal: Forbes Masson (who plays Katherine) and Katy Stephens (who plays Petruchio) with pupils from Shipston High School. Forbes Masson (who plays Katherine) and Katy Stephens (who plays Petruchio) with pupils from Shipston High School.

LIVE theatre was brought into the classroom when theRoyal Shakespeare Company visited Shipston High School with its First Encounter production of The Taming of the Shrew.

The edited version of the play, which has been specially created for eight to 13-year-olds, was performed twice at the school last Wednesday before moving to the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford.

The cast has now embarked on a six-week UK tour of schools and regional theatres, followed by a trip to the US to play at The Ohio State University.

With male actors playing female roles and vice versa, the First Encounter production, directed by Michael Fentiman, tells the story of two people’s crazy journey towards becoming the perfect match. Using a shortened version of the original text, it also included an introduction to the performance and a chance to hear from the actors, to create a great first experience of seeing Shakespeare live.

Jonathan Baker, Headteacher at Shipston High School, said: “We were thrilled to have the privilege of bringing the production to Shipston and our students were really excited about seeing the RSC perform in school.

"This is a first for Shipston and a first for the school. This is also a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience a dynamic performance of Shakespeare, right on their doorstep, and will really help to bring all the benefits of live theatre to the classroom.”

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