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This year, the Fourth Form have taken part in the English-Speaking Union’s Performing Shakespeare Competition. This competition aims to encourage oracy and performance skills in 11-14 year olds, as well as a love of Shakespeare and a deeper understanding of the importance of performance when studying the Bard’s plays.

Last term, all students took part in the class heats stage of the competition. Each student had to choose a monologue from the current Shakespeare play they were studying, learn it by heart and then perform it to their class. For the LIV (Year 7) this was The Tempest; for the MIV (Year 8), Twelfth Night; and the UIV (Year 9) were studying Romeo and Juliet. The girls rose to the challenge and there was a wonderful variety of monologues chosen in each class. The standard was very high and it was a tough job for teachers to choose their winners!

This month, the winner from each class went forward to the school final, which took place in the the Delscey Burns Theatre and was judged by Mrs Lord, Head of English, and Mrs Rigby of the Drama Department. Both judges were absolutely amazed by the girls’ performances and it is clear that there is a fantastic range of acting talent at the school. The eventual winner was Amelia (UIV) for her sensitive and emotional portrayal of Juliet in the tomb during Act 5 of Romeo and Juliet. Jade (LIV) was second with a beautiful performance of Caliban’s ‘the isle is full of noises’ speech from The Tempest. Sophie and Clemmie (both UIV) came third and fourth, both performing different monologues of Romeo’s.

All four girls repeated their performances in last week’s Oracy Chapel, to the delight of staff and students. Huge congratulations to them and to the other class winners: Sophie (UIV); Octavia and Eve (MIV); and Tabitha (LIV). We are now waiting to find out how many of our girls can go forward to the Regional Finals of the ESU Competition, and look forward to seeing how they get on!