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Jonathan’s Shakespeare Summer

Over the summer I went to RADA's Shakespeare summer school and had the time of my life.

A massive course with over 80 people on it over four weeks that comprised of everything from sonnets to sword fighting, the latter taught by the intimidating Philip d'Orleans affectionately known amongst the RADA students as the Prince of Darkness.

We were split into groups of around 13 people from almost every corner of the globe, with people from all over the U.S. and places even further away such as Venezuela and Singapore.

Each day started at 10 with classes going all the way through till 5 in the evening, with a break for lunch in-between. These classes ranged from basic monologue training with the short course director Geoff Bullen with an emphasis on the three Bs (Beast, Birdie and Bedroom), to our regular everyday Acting Shakespeare class with our group leader Drew, with whom we prepared monologues he recommended for us and some select scenes from The Tempest that we performed to another group in the final week.

These weeks were a  truly special experience that will be with me for the rest of my life, with highlights such as training monologues in a short masterclass with ex RADA alumni Michelle Terry who we managed three hours with, in-between her current role as Rosalind in The Globes' production of As You Like It. Another highlight was a crowd scene from Julius Caesar in which the entire 80 person course went screaming through the streets of London between the two RADA studios, confusing tourists with our shouts of "Liberty, Equality, Tyranny is Dead”. All of this whilst living in London student accommodation and learning to live independently and gaining a love of England's capital city. In the end I came out of it with a reinvigorated love for drama, world class training in areas such as physical theatre and dance, all the time with group of people from all corners of the globe forging friendships that will last for a lifetime.

Something I would recommend to all who think they know anything about acting, who are prepared to have everything you expect turned on its head.


Jonathan Combey