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Encountering Shakespeare

RSC First Encounters are a chance for young people aged 7-13 years to have a positive first experience of Shakespeare’s work. However they are also an opportunity for school communities to get involved, to experience something new and in this case for a local artist to have a new adventure.

RSC First Encounters Twelfth Night is at the Grand Theatre this week – the venue has been a Regional Theatre Partner with the Royal Shakespeare Company for over a decade. The strength and success of this partnership is evident in the amazing opportunities that result for local schools, adult communities and artists.

Using edited versions of the original Shakespearian language, First Encounters bring the plays to life on stage in just 90 minutes. They also offer the chance for children from across 20 associate schools to perform alongside the professional RSC cast, having an integral story telling role.

“If you’d told the 16 year old me that one day I’d be working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, I’d have said you were crazy!”

This where local freelance director/practitioner Mykey Young has been employed by the RSC to work as a creative associate on the production. It’s his debut role with the RSC and he’s spent time with the company in Stratford Upon Avon rehearsal rooms and then travelling the length and breadth of the country to work with school children rehearsing their appearance as Sailors and conspirators with Viola, the protagonist of Twelfth Night.

“If you’d told the 16 year old me that one day I’d be working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, I’d have said you were crazy,” says Mykey. “When I arrived for day one I was incredibly nervous but so excited. I needn’t have been as it was the best first day ever. Followed by day two where I got to attend the press night for All’s Well That Ends Well. All jobs should have a party on day two of week one!

“Meeting the young people in schools across the country has been hilarious, inspiring and enlightening, they’ve all been wonderful. And being part of this production that will appear in my home town has fulfilled my lifelong ambition of directing work for the Blackpool Grand Main Stage.”

One of the students from Highfulrong SEND school, who will be appearing in the matinee show on Thursday 29th September said:
“This is awesome, so exciting. No problem!”
The inclusive nature of the partnership has enabled the pupils from Highfurlong to be equally involved by adapting the Shakespeare to Makaton sign language.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Creative Learning work contact [email protected]. To book tickets for the production, running 29 Sept-1 Oct, go to the Blackpool Grand Theatre show page. First Encounters – Twelfth Night – Blackpool Grand Theatre

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