Two Bradford College students have travelled to the Bard’s hometown and watched a professional production as part of their roles as Shakespeare Ambassadors.
The ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students spent two days in Stratford-Upon-Avon during which they took part in workshops, project planning and got to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Timon of Athens.
The Bradford College students were among a host of Shakespeare Ambassadors from around the country who were invited to the make the trip and will form the core of the RSC youth advisory board.
The RSC’s Shakespeare Ambassadors programme was set up to develop the leadership capacity of young people across the country. Recruited from the RSC’s national network of partner schools, from Middlesbrough to Cornwall, 300 young ambassadors aged 7-17 will lead a Shakespeare inspired project in their local communities during the 2018/19 academic year. They will receive leadership training throughout the year to support their development.
Bradford College has Associate School status with the RSC which links it with schools across the Bradford region and, in partnership with the Alhambra Theatre, works to help young people engage with Shakespeare and the theatre.
The link has opened up some wonderful opportunities to students.
In December Bradford College was the venue for an RSC production of The Comedy of Errors specially adapted for a younger audience. Then, in February, eight young people from Bradford got to perform on stage at the Alhambra Theatre in the RSC’s production of Romeo and Juliet. The eight young people taking part were from Bradford College, St Bede's and St Joseph's Catholic College and Feversham College.
Damien O’Keeffe, who leads the work of the Associate Schools programme at Bradford College, said: “The relationship that we have built up with the RSC over the last two years has provided some fantastic opportunities for young people in Bradford schools. These include the chance to perform at a schools’ festival in Stratford-Upon-Avon and to take part in the recent First Encounters: Comedy of Errors production at the College and to get the chance to join the company of Romeo and Juliet on the main stage of The Alhambra was amazing.”