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REVIEW: Lancaster Royal Grammar School presents Strolling with Shakespeare

Lancaster Royal Grammar School’s Strolling with Shakespeare at Lancaster Castle was a joy to watch, writes ROSS CHAPMAN.

Lancaster Royal Grammar School’s drama department put on an impressive show on their second and final night of performing at Lancaster Castle.

An audience of around 100 people turned out to watch a mix of monologues, duologues, group performances and music in Strolling with Shakespeare, brilliantly directed by teachers Sarah Owens and Rachel Gibson, on Friday night.

This year was the first time that the annual production, which featured students from year seven all the way up to year 13 (ages 11 to 18), had been held outside of school grounds.

It cost only £5 to watch nearly two hours’ worth of renditions of Shakespeare’s works and, considering how impressive each and every one of the 16 performances were, it was a bargain!

The evening included recreations of two sonnets, scenes from nine plays, such as Othello, Hamlet and Twelfth Night and musical performances, performed across Lancaster Castle’s spectacular grounds.

Every scene was emotionally captivating, with fantastic performances from actors and actresses of all ages. The chemistry in group pieces was very strong, while soliloquies, performed by sixth form students, were just as enjoyable. Kudos to every performer – acting in front of an audience of dozens of people is no mean feat. Thankfully, the weather turned out nicely – holding a production outside with the British weather is always a gamble!

The evening also featured modern takes on the world of Shakespeare, with one group, comprised of year seven and year 11 students, performing an extract from 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', using a mobile phone and referencing other technology in their scene, which was particularly impressive, as well as humorous. Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School’s vocal group combined with LRGS to cover 'The Tempest: ‘Full Fathom Five’. Two of LRGS’ teachers got involved with that too! Two sixth formers ended the night with a rendition of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by rock band Dire Straits.

It was very well organised, with guides on hand throughout the night to direct the audience to the next performing stage. Refreshments were made available from Atkinsons before the show and during the intermission.

It was great viewing on a warm July night – I look forward to going to see Strolling with Shakespeare next year! As a school event, I would highly recommend it!

Photos by Ross Chapman and Sarah Owens

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