Kelly is performing in Henry VI: Rebellion as part of Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre Shakespeare Nation group. Kelly lives in Bradford and teaches animal care and land-based studies. In her spare time she enjoys watch Harry Potter and Marvel films.

During high school, I really struggled to get into Shakespeare because of a misconception that all Shakespeare was writing about was love and tragedy due to always learning about Romeo and Juliet. And while this is a brilliant play, 13-year-old me really wasn’t into all the romance and tragedy (I’m still not and I’m 23!). I wanted fighting and swords and betrayal.

That being said, when I was in year 11 (so about 15) I got introduced to Much Ado About Nothing which sparked my interest. I didn’t know that there was more to Shakespeare than your typical teenage romance but a world of comedy too.

I always wanted to be an actress when I was younger but never thought I could make it due to being dyslexic and dyspraxic, so I quickly gave up that idea. It didn’t help that most of my high school teachers said that I wouldn’t make anything of myself when I left school.

A woman with short hair and glasses smiles at the camera.
Photo by Chris Owen © RSC Browse and license our images

Fast forward to 2020, Covid restrictions had got worse and my mum saw a post for Shakespeare Nation taking place on Zoom. At the start I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I just signed up and took a shot at it.

In November 2021, we did our own version of The Comedy of Errors called A Drop in the Ocean and it was absolutely amazing! I met some amazing people both who had never worked with the RSC or even done any acting before and some who came from the RSC to do vocal work with us.

Our director, Julia, played a massive part in helping me get to the point I am at today: she gave me huge encouragement and the confidence I never knew I had to do any work like this. I was a very quiet person and quite reclusive before working on our project whereas now I am quite loud and bubbly, especially in our rehearsals, which I’m sure everyone finds hilarious but hey! That’s who I am now!

I could never have imagined my life to be where it is now and it's all thanks to those that I have met on this incredible journey. I have made some friends for life and hopefully will continue working with them in the future.

For 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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