Bingley Grammar School

RSC Dream Team 2016

On Friday evening last week Bingley Grammar School students performed alongside students from Eldwick Primary, Crossflatts Primary, Harden Primary and Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College at the Alhambra theatre!

Three years ago, Bingley Grammar School was awarded the Royal Shakespeare Learning and Performance Network Status, allowing our staff and pupils to work in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company. We have become a “hub” for schools in the local area and so far our partnership has benefitted over 4000 students.

The partnership has given students the opportunity to take part in amazing events and workshops but the highlight was definitely the Alhambra performance of Shakespeare's 'A Midsumuer Night's Dream' last week.

Each school took a part of the play to perform and the end result was amazing. The cast performed to fellow students during a matinee performance and to their families in the evening on Friday 11 March.

All the students have benefitted from their own teaching staff gaining training from the RSC as well as the RSC writer and director Robin Belfield visiting the schools to assist with tweaking their performances.

Our Senior Leadership team and Governors were extremely proud of everything that our staff and students had achieved on the evening. Mr David Markham, one of our Foundation Governors has written this report:

It’s a theatre full of history. Famous actors and actresses have trod its boards. It has staged West End shows catering for audiences drawn from across the North of England.

What a thrill then it must have been for children and students from Bingley schools to perform Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre (Friday, March 11).

It was an evening they and we in the large audience will never forget. 

Our staff and students have worked in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, running events and workshops that have benefited more than 4,000 students across the Bradford district.

And it was the partnership between our school, Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College along with three Bingley district primary schools, Eldwick, Crossflatts and Harden that made this such an enjoyable evening for an appreciative audience that included family members and friends of the young people taking part.

The youthful cast took it in turn to act out scenes from Shakespeare’s romantic comedy just a few hours after an afternoon performance for fellow pupils, delivering their lines with confidence and, above all, enjoying themselves. And this sense of enjoyment transmitted itself to the audience who frequently broke out into spontaneous applause in appreciation of the efforts of the young people on stage.

At the end of the evening performance the students received a rapturous reception from the packed audience and Matt Atkinson, the head of our Creative and Performing Arts faculty, who has driven the Shakespeare project saluted the students for their efforts.

He was joined on stage by teachers from the various schools involved in the production along with Robin Bellfield, who, with his RSC colleagues, has visited the various schools to help with the rehearsals and make sure the two performances were accurate interpretations of Shakespeare’s work.

Our school’s fruitful partnership with the RSC was recognised the night before the Alhambra performances by being named the winner of the Business in Schools award at the Telegraph & Argus Schools Awards.

It was a proud couple of days for our school and all the other schools who have joined us in promoting Shakespeare’s works and spreading the appreciation of England’s greatest literary figure.

David Markham

Click here to read more on the performance from Saturday's Telegraph & Argus.

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Our Cast

Our audience

Bingley Grammar rehearsals 1

Crossflatts Primary Rehearsal 3

Bingley Grammar rehearsals 3

Crossflatts Primary Rehearsal