For the first time, Moreton Hall hosted the regional final of the prestigious English-Speaking Union’s Performing Shakespeare Competition.
The school welcomed students from across the North West: Manchester High School, Denstone College Staffordshire, Loreto Grammar School Cheshire, Altrincham Grammar School, but Moreton’s home-grown talent prevailed with senior school student Georgia being awarded first place.
Georgia will now go on to act on a West End stage in London on June 21st 2019. Commenting on her success, she enthused: “I performed a monologue from Queen Margaret taken from Shakespeare’s Henry VI. My aim was to show the ruthless vengeance she feels towards a man who tried to depose her husband. In spite of her initial composure, Margaret’s emotions bubble to the surface. Shakespeare knew the extremes of human emotion.”
Drama teacher, Michael Jenkins, said: “This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase their talents and their love of performing in front of a live audience. It's been thoroughly enjoyable preparing the students for their performances. They have developed in each coaching session and I’m extremely proud of Georgia.”
The annual competition is currently in its seventh year and aims to bring to life the Shakespeare study requirement in the national curriculum in an innovative and exciting way. It also enables students to develop their creativity, their confidence and their ability to express themselves.
Merriel Halsall-Williams, Head of Spoken English at Moreton Hall, said: “We are proud to have hosted the regional finals at Moreton Hall and delighted with our student’s success.”
Moreton Hall places a strong emphasis on the role Spoken English plays in providing an holistic education and developing students to become self-assured, individual and confident in who they are. Earlier this year Head of Spoken English at Moreton Hall, Merriel Halsall-Williams, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution as a student, teacher, examiner, International Director, Trustee, and Honorary Vice-President in championing the transformative power of the spoken word. Over the course of many years, Merriel has nurtured hundreds of students, enabling them to stand up and talk with aplomb!
Principal of Moreton Hall, Jonathan Forster, commented: “Merriel's role in Spoken English at Moreton Hall is one of the most important features of a Moreton education, equipping young women with the confidence and skills to communicate effectively.”
Hosting the competition extends Moreton Hall’s commitment and development of community-led initiatives. Earlier this year the school was shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious 2019 TES Independent School of the Year Awards for its community outreach work.
Moreton Hall is also the driving force behind the development of The Holroyd Community Theatre which will be a cultural hub for all the surrounding areas and will host Spoken English events and competitions such as the ESU in the years to come.
Georgia is now invited to the grand final of the Performing Shakespeare Competition at a West End theatre in June.