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Acting for Stage & Screen Students Imppress at the Great Barn

A number of talented students impressed at a popular historic venue on the South Coast whilst performing one of Shakespeare’s classic tales.

Second year Acting for Stage & Screen students from HSDC South Downs were given the unique opportunity to perform Romeo and Juliet at The Great Barn in Titchfield, enabling them to showcase over five months of hard work and dedication.

The performances marked the fifth year that Acting for Stage & Screen students have produced and performed at the venue. Past shows have included Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tragedy of Macbeth and The Winter’s Tale. Students who have performed here in the past have left having had an incredible experience which saw them immerse themselves in industry-standard conditions. 

The preparation saw the students undergo a process of exploration into the text and its themes, via many workshops, lectures, and trips. In addition, the students also explored the concept of contemporisation, and why this is vital in making theatre speak to modern audiences. This has therefore been an incredible opportunity that will be hugely beneficial for those hoping to pursue a career in the acting world in the future.

Jimmy Ryan-Shedden, Lecturer of Drama added:

“We have contemporised, reimagined, pulled apart and developed this Shakespeare classic into something that is relevant and valid to modern audiences in the present day.

This is, and was the remit of the student’s final task, as part of the acting for stage and screen course at HSDC. Many times, within this process, the students and I, have questioned whether Shakespeare would be accepting of the contemporisation of his works. Well, I am certain that he would be. 

To be able to make his work speak to a whole new generation of willing audiences and minds, is imperative in enabling the continuation of his work, and continuing the legacy that he had left behind.

In what has been a busy year at HSDC, having also partaken in The National Theatre’s Connection Programme only weeks ago, our students have prospered and created a Romeo & Juliet that is truly beautiful.”

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