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Royal Shakespeare Company Selects Bradford College Students for Next Generation Project

Four Bradford College students, once ESOL learners, had the amazing opportunity to work behind the scenes with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Next Generation Project last week.

The RSC’s Next Generation Project is a long-term talent development initiative that collaborates with Associate Regional Schools and Regional Theatre Partners, such as Bradford College, to help young people to develop their skills, create productions, and assist them as they make their first steps into employment. 

After a successful training session in 2023, Ahmed, Qaraman,  Ali, and Muntder (all former ESOL students of Bradford College) were invited back to Stratford Upon Avon to join the Next Generation Backstage programme. This project saw them work with professional backstage experts to help create a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, following the instructions of theatre designers, producers, and actors. 

Ali and Muntder, who are now Progression to Learning and Work (PLW) students, worked on making costumes and sound effects. Ahmed, who is now working full-time, helped with the lighting, and Qaraman, who is studying performing arts at degree level at Bradford College, took charge as the stage manager. 

Upon their arrival on Wednesday afternoon, the students received the design brief and immediately set to work with their RSC mentors. Later that evening, they watched a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford before starting the creation and production of their own scene over the following 48 hours.  

On Friday afternoon, members of the public were invited to the neighbouring Swan Theatre to witness their scene, where our students were warmly congratulated for their remarkable achievements. 

Qaraman expressed his gratitude by saying, “I can never put into words how grateful I am for this wonderful opportunity,” while Muntder shared, “I never dreamed that I would work with such creative, inspirational professionals. This has been the most amazing experience, and I wish it would never end!” Ali also conveyed his enthusiasm, stating,

“This is a chance to really use my talents and work as a team to produce something meaningful. I am proud to be part of this and have asked about possibly finding work with the RSC in the future. Everyone is so encouraging, and I feel delighted that they listen to me and my opinion is valued.”

During their time in Stratford, Muntder also received confirmation of his successful application to join the RSC Youth Advisory Board (YAB). This means that he will join a group of approximately 20 diverse young people throughout the country to advocate for youth voices within the company and ensure that young voices are heard within the arts. The RSCYAB was established in 2019, and Muntder joins Hareth, a RSCYAB founder member who was also a Bradford College ESOL student and is now studying politics at Liverpool University. 

Just like these students who overcame language barriers through our English courses and unlocked exciting opportunities, you can too! At Bradford College, we offer a range of English language courses specifically designed for speakers of other languages. Improving your English skills not only boosts your employment prospects and career but also helps you to communicate effectively within your wider community. 

If you want to find out more about our ESOL courses, please visit us at our next open day on Mar 9, 2024. You can book your spot now

Published: 21st February 2024


Adult, School Leavers, English and Maths


# Adult # ESOL # Foundation Learning # PLW # School Leaver

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