Drama stu­dents hon­oured with big stage in­vite

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By AMY COLLETT ete­d­i­tor@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Peter­bor­oughet

THE lime­light will be beck­on­ing for ten tal­ented Peter­bor­ough stu­dents when they take to the stage for a “once in a life­time” per­for­mance.

The young­sters, from St John Fisher Catholic High School in Park Road, Peter­bor­ough, are head­lin­ing a star-stud­ded char­ity gala in London next week­end.

They are set to per­form Twelfth Night at the pres­ti­gious Royal Court Theatre as part of Shake­speare Schools Fes­ti­val’s one-off event on Sun­day, May 13.

Hosted by TV pre­sen­ter Sue Perkins, there will also be an ap­pear­ance from char­ity pa­tron and film and TV ac­tress Jenny Agut­ter as Twelfth Night’s Pros­pero.

The Year 12 stu­dents, who are all study­ing A-level drama and theatre stud­ies, were se­lected for the priv­i­lege af­ter be­ing in­vited to take part in the Shake­speare Schools Fes­ti­val, the UK’S largest youth drama fes­ti­val, last sum­mer.

They per­formed Twelfth Night at Peter­bor­ough’s Key Theatre to great ac­claim, and across the coun­try more than 600 schools were in­volved.

Fol­low­ing the fes­ti­val, St John Fisher was the only sec­ondary school cho­sen to take part in the gala, and one of only three schools in to­tal.

The stu­dents will be the only ones do­ing a full ver­sion of the play and will be open­ing the gala with its 30- minute in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

The gala is a snap­shot of the work the char­ity does with young peo­ple across the coun­try – with the aim of rais­ing funds to pay to al­low more stu­dents to take part.

Sean Hayes, head­teacher of St John Fisher School, said stu­dents, staff and par­ents are equally thrilled at the op­por­tu­nity for some of its stu­dents to ex­pe­ri­ence per­form­ing at a pro­fes­sional London theatre.

He said: “This is a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity for our stu­dents and a real ac­knowl­edge­ment of their tal­ent and pro­fes­sion­al­ism.

“I know that they will give an out­stand­ing per­for­mance, as they al­ways do, and I will be so proud to watch them per­form in a pro­fes­sional theatre.”

Clare Gwenin, the school’s head of ex­pres­sive arts and di­rec­tor of Twelfth Night, said: “Di­rect­ing Twelfth Night ini­tially was great fun and ex­tremely en­joy­able and we were over­whelmed with the pos­i­tive re­sponse from the au­di­ence. How­ever, to be then cho­sen out of 600 schools to rep­re­sent the Shake­speare for Schools Fes­ti­val at The Royal Court was a huge com­pli­ment.

“I am de­lighted my stu­dents have the op­por­tu­nity to show­case their tal­ents by per­form­ing in such a well known theatre, and de­spite their nerves, know that they will pro­duce a first class per­for­mance mak­ing me im­mensely proud.”

STARS: Siob­han Kelly and Jor­dan Mac­in­tosh will per­form Twelfth Night at the Royal Court Theatre along with Kirsty Mac­in­tosh, Liam Ke­hoe, Pa­tryk Zakrocki, Riah-mae Davis, Stephanie Beara, Zainia James, Char­lotte Aitken and Iziah Robin­son.

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