Students joined Juliet Stevenson and RSC actors to showcase the work we do with young people, to guests at 10 Downing Street this week.

Monday's event was introduced by the Minister for School Standards, Robin Walker, and acknowledged the important role the arts play in the lives of young people.

Guests experienced a Romeo and Juliet workshop led by our Learning Practitioner Emma Manton, which demonstrated the same rehearsal room techniques we use to teach Shakespeare in the classroom.

Jacqui O'Hanlon, Director of Learning and National Partnerships, said: "We know that an arts-rich education develops the life chances of children, contributes to their wellbeing, develops skills and behaviours that mean they do better at school, gets them ready for work and for life, and creates engaged citizens who make a positive contribution to their communities and society as a whole."

Juliet Stevenson performs next to a Christmas tree.
Juliet Stevenson performs at Number 10 as part of the event.
© No 10 Downing Street Browse and license our images

The workshop was followed by a performance by young actors from our Next Generation Act company, Avita Jay and Dyfrig Morris from The Comedy of Errors and Associate Artist Juliet Stevenson. It included Shakespeare’s sonnets, extracts from As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest, and original songs inspired by the character of Herowritten by one of the young performers.

About RSC Next Generation

Next Generation gives talented young people who experience structural disadvantage the chance to explore a career in acting, directing or working backstage.

The young actors at the event came from Next Generation Act, part of our talent development programme which identifies individuals from our partner schools and theatres across the country who demonstrate exceptional talent and who might otherwise not consider a career in the theatre. The students follow a programme of ongoing support, tuition, training and mentoring led by actors and theatre practitioners.