In his second blog, Corin tells his personal story of how theatre turned his life around after the death of a beloved uncle.

Corin is performing in Henry VI: Rebellion as part of Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre Shakespeare Nation group. Corin lives and breathes theatre, working as an actor, front of house at the Alhambra and co-running a production company. When he’s not rebelling, he also enjoys watching Bradford Bulls Rugby League.

A bearded man wearing a dirty brown smock.
Corin in costume.

Hi there, Corin here again. My journey to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre has been, in some ways, 14 years in the making. Fourteen years ago, my Uncle Brian passed away due to cancer, and I honestly thought my life was over. I was really close to him and when he died, I went off the rails a bit at school. 

A few months passed and I really wasn’t doing too well. I was getting excluded on a regular basis and my behaviour was getting worse. When I returned to school after one of my exclusions, a teacher devised a plan in which I would be able to join the school trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the RSC's production of Noughts and Crosses if I didn't get excluded again.

Now I'll be honest with you, the only reason I agreed to this plan was that I thought it would be nice to get out of school for a day and spend some time elsewhere. A few weeks passed and I didn’t get excluded again, so I was allowed to travel down to Stratford-upon-Avon.

The production of Noughts and Crosses took place in Stratford Civic Hall. I remember sitting in the auditorium before the show thinking this is going to be so boring but, by the interval, I was hooked. A new passion for theatre was born and it gave me something to live for.

Since that day, the RSC has provided me with many happy memories from seeing shows such as Matilda The Musical, The Boy in the Dress, and The Comedy of Errors. Fast forward 14 years from that first show and I am in an RSC production myself, Henry VI: Rebellion. If you had told my 14-year-old self that I would one day be performing in Stratford-upon-Avon in an RSC production, I would have laughed at you, but this is now reality.

I found theatre and I found where I belong. Isn't it funny how pretending to be other people is what truly led me to find myself? I found that thing that makes me get up each day, that thing that puts a fire in my soul. The thing that rushes through my veins.

Rebellion has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I know Uncle Brian would be proud of me. The RSC has done so much for me in my life; they're not just a theatre company. It's truly like being a part of a big family that supports everyone involved, from patrons to cast and crew. I often joke that RSC should stand for Royal Shakespeare Community. The RSC helped save my life and get it back on course, and helped me become the person I am today, a person who I'm truly proud of. I can't wait to get on the stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Long live the rebellion!!!!  


Shakespeare Nation and the Rebels

Seventy-four adults from Blackpool, Bradford, Canterbury, Cornwall, Norwich and Nottingham, appear alongside the professional cast in our show Henry VI: Rebellion. They are part of Shakespeare Nation, our community participation programme run with our partner theatres, aimed at people with little or no experience of Shakespeare, either as a theatre-goer or performer. They play the roles of working people who take part in the rebellion led by the character of Jack Cade against Henry VI, and townsfolk when the king is out hunting.

The Shakespeare Nation adult engagement work is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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