A few months ago, Osborne School were contacted by Chris Grace, the founder of Shakespeare Schools Festival, and asked to showcase our adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Bournemouth International Centre for the Annual Rotary Club Conference.
After a quick recap and rehearsal of our show, 21 students and some very excited staff arrived at Osborne on Saturday 2 April, ready to travel to Bournemouth to show the 1,400 members of the Rotary Club what a brilliant investment SSF is for young people. When we arrived we were greeted by Francesca and Alex from SSF who showed us to our rehearsal space, after a quick change and being introduced to the one and only Jenny Agutter (!) we ran through our show, to make sure it was perfect. We arrived at the stage door and set up, ready for the Shakespeare Schools Festival Showcase. Chris Grace spoke about the origins of SSF and then Jenny Agutter (from Railway Children, Walkabout and Call the Midwife) introduced our performance. It was a great honour to be introduced by Jenny, she was such a lovely lady and was so interested in Osborne School and how we portrayed our extract from Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Then it was over to us. The students weren’t phased at all. They took to the stage with professionalism and focus, performing their piece perfectly. The Rotary Club loved every second of it, as did Jenny Agutter, who was quite overcome with emotion and dabbed away a few tears as she congratulated us on our performance. She then chatted to Hannah Corrall about the benefits of taking part in Shakespeare Schools Festival and how the school uses it as part of the curriculum. After a final, rapturous applause, we left the stage and travelled back to Osborne. Yet again, the students were absolutely fantastic, they continue to amaze us with their focus, dedication, confidence and flexibility. What a wonderful opportunity which will stay with us for a long time to come.
Thank you Shakespeare Schools Festival for an amazing day and allowing us to showcase our talented students.