We were delighted to welcome a very special guest into school; award-winning playwright and director Robert Icke, who delivered an interactive workshop to drama students from our Fifth and Lower Sixth Forms on Monday 2 October.

Robert is currently Associate Director of London’s Almeida Theatre and is best known for modern adaptations of classic texts including ‘Hamlet’, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, and recreations of works such as ‘Oedipus’, ‘Mary Stuart’ and George Orwell’s ‘1984’. He once quoted, “I’m just trying to strip away the ‘plastic casing’ from some of the classics.”

With boundless energy and heaps of animation, Robert treated the boys to a drama lesson like no other. When talking about ‘Romeo & Juliet’, he posed the question, “How do you generate tension when everyone knows what happens in the end?”

A very good question, which led beautifully into a thought provoking group discussion where the boys themselves described how, by adopting a fresh perspective on a well-known story, they can create the same suspense as if it were being told for the first time.

Our cast of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ was also lucky enough to have Robert inject some of his unique direction into their rehearsal. Antoinette Keylock, Head of Academic Drama, said, “It was an absolute pleasure to host Robert Icke. His directorial approach is unique and his insightful comments really inspired our drama students. I was stunned when he agreed to come into school, as he is such a big name in theatre. I am sure the cast of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ will always remember his interesting thoughts on the play and his insight was invaluable.”

The joint production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ by Bedford School and Bedford Girls’ School will take place on Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 November, with an additional matinée on Wednesday 22 November. Tickets are available to buy now from our Quarry Theatre.

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