Barking and Dagenham pupils star in Romeo and Juliet
A group of young people from Barking and Dagenham have made their stage debuts performing alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican.
The 12 youngsters from Eastbury Community School were given the opportunity to represent the school in the theatre company’s performance of Romeo and Juliet.
The students from Years 8 through to 13 dedicated themselves to rehearsals with the Royal Shakespeare’s actors and took on the important role of reading the prologue at the start of the play. The youngsters also feature at the memorial of Tybalt’s death and the encore.
Each young performer will star in the show for up to five times at the Barbican with the last performance taking place on Wednesday 20 December.
Year 13 student Kieron wrote the following about the play in light of his experiences with the company: “As a young person I see Romeo and Juliet as a play that remains relevant because it captures the essence of being young and imprisoned within the confines of a world much bigger than yourself.
“This version of the play is young, energetic, and has a voice that cannot be silenced.”
A memorable performance
With the presence of a skilled signer on stage, who cleverly integrated with the performance, Eastbury’s deaf pupils were able to enjoy the show and a backstage tour.
Councillor Evelyn Carpenter, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement attended the show on Wednesday 28 November and thoroughly enjoyed the performance: “It was a memorable performance. The pupils from Eastbury Community School are very talented and should be very proud of themselves.
“Both the pupils who performed and those who went to watch behaved brilliantly and are a credit to Barking and Dagenham.”
David Dickson, Executive Head teacher of Eastbury Community School said, “I am extremely grateful to the Royal Shakespeare Company and amazing English department for providing the wonderful opportunity for our students to experience taking part in a professional production on a national stage.
“Eastbury has worked in partnership with the RSC for a number of the years, both in school and in theatres, ensuring that our pupils enjoy Shakespeare and a love of English literature.”