Shakespeare In Schools Tour

07 November 2023

Last month, graduating MFA Professional Acting students visited 14 secondary schools and colleges across West London as part of our annual Shakespeare In Schools tour. 

The tour gives pupils in Year's 9 through to 13 the opportunity to experience classic texts brought to life by a company of passionate young people. It is delivered as part of our newly created LAMDA Local programme, which aims to support local state schools to access and champion the performing arts.

This year, over 1,500 pupils watched fast-paced, exciting adaptations of Romeo & Juliet (directed by Sonnie Beckett) and Julius Caesar (directed by Lawrence Evans). Not only are these two of Shakespeare's most beloved works, they feature on the national curriculum.

At a time where schools face increasing pressures amidst a severe decline in arts provision, drama schools like LAMDA have an important role to play in helping to plug the gap and support pupils' learning.  

"One of the things that has come through from the students is how much they really liked the cast and crew. They don't see many professional role models outside of the teaching context, so seeing how vibrant your personalities are, and how passionate and talented everyone is, it really resonated!"

Samia Rahman, Alperton Community School

Alongside the performances, the students delivered 13 post-show workshops and 6 Q&A's. These supplementary sessions were a space to explore the text, characters and themes of the plays, as well providing an insight into the acting process and drama school training. 

The tour was a resounding success with teachers and pupils alike, and ended with public performances in our own Sainsbury Theatre, attended by a further three school groups.

LAMDA's relationship with the schools that received the tour doesn't end there either, as we plan to offer future workshops that support students in their drama lessons and explore the multitude of careers available in theatre. 

"The amount of focus on stage was exemplary. Being able to stay in character for every second was amazing. Watching the true passion each member held for not only the performance, but for their character and the acting in general."

Secondary School Pupil

Ella Murdoch, LAMDA's Access & Widening Participation Manager, said:

"It has been an honour and a joy to produce the Shakespeare in Schools Tour this year.

Not only has it provided the opportunity for hundreds of young people to experience live theatre (many of them for the first time), but it has also opened many doors for teachers to continue to explore Shakespeare's work in their lessons and for students to develop their performance, communication and analysis skills.

A massive congratulations to everyone involved for their hard work and commitment."

LAMDA would like to publicly thank all of the MFA Professional Acting students that performed in the tour, as well as Emily Huxley (Production Manager), Natasha Shirley and Jade Taylor (Stage Managers), and Anna Hampton and Robert Elwood (Assistant Directors) for their for their incredible energy, professionalism, creativity and support.