Shakespeare students from De Aston to the West End

Students at Market Rasen's De Aston School have won through to the final of a national competition organised by the English Speaking Union (ESU).

Year nine drama students Lauren Graham, Emily-Jade Taylor, Katie Harris, Anya Gibson, Kaitlyn Calis, Chloe Chuck, and Poppy Chapman, and Rosie Smith (not pictured), took part in the regional final of the ESU’s Performing Shakespeare competition.

After a short workshop, led by ESU education officers Will Stileman and Melanie Aplin, the students recited by heart a monologue or duologue of their choice.

They were judged on their performance and winning through to the final were Anya Gibson, Emily-Jade Taylor and Poppy Chapman.

They will perform at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue on March 8, along with fellow finalists from across the country.

“We were absolutely thrilled with the students’ dedication and enthusiasm for performing their Shakespeare speeches,” said Sarah Peacock, head of English at De Aston.

“To perform such complex language with such confidence truly demonstrates their ability to understand how Shakespeare’s writing can still teach us much today – from discrimination to tragedy and love.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our students.”

The competition was open to students from Years seven to nine. De Aston was the only school in this region to take up the challenge.