Off by Heart Shakespeare

Neil Foster (16), a pupil at Lathallan School, took part in the BBC Shakespeare ‘Off by Heart’ performing competition. The BBC attended the school back in December to interview Neil and see him enjoy drama, music and sport alongside his normal academic lessons that day.

Schools across the UK nominated up to three students to represent them at the regional heats. They performed a famous Shakespearean speech they have learnt and had a fantastic opportunity to join a behind the scenes acting workshop. Students experienced Shakespearean language like never before: learning how to breathe it, feel it, vocalise it and make it their own.

Neil performed a scene as Shylock from ‘The Merchant of Venice’.

Nine finalists battled it out on stage in a bid to be crowned Schools Shakespeare Champion at Stratford-upon-Avon in January and featured in the BBC2 documentary aired on May 19.

Neil was placed fourth overall out of the nine finalists. One of the judges, Samuel West commented on his “enormous stage presence”. Neil has been accepted to National Youth Theatre and will spend much of the summer in London. He recently was awarded a scholarship at Lathallan for his skills in drama.