The Perse School

RADA Shakespeare Platinum Award success for Perse students

23 Nov 2017

Pip Jackson and Adele Chu (both Lower Sixth) have earned prestigious RADA Shakespeare Platinum Awards after successful exams.

The Perse students travelled to RADA HQ in London and were required to perform two Shakespeare monologues of their choice and a sight-read piece that they were handed just 15 minutes prior to the test.

They also had to give a 10-minute presentation of how they would produce a Shakespeare play of their choosing, including where it would be performed as well as indicating designs for the setting and costumes.

Leading up to the exam, Pip and Adele had produced reviews relating to a film or television adaptation of one of the playwright’s works, in which they gave their assessments of what they felt worked and did not work.

Pip chose to perform a monologue from Julius Caesar and one from Romeo and Juliet as well as impressing the examiners with his idea about staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a Greek amphitheatre.

He said: “My first monologue was from Caesar himself. It’s the last large piece of speech he has before he gets assassinated.

“It’s at the height of his pride and he says ‘he’s as constant as the northern star’ but then he’s killed, contradicting what he’s saying as a bit of dramatic irony.

“My other was by Mercutio and comes after Romeo has just run off. He’s looking for him with Benvolio, but being the clownish character that he is, Mercutio isn’t seriously looking for him and he’s slightly mocking Romeo in the process of calling out for him.

“I’m relieved to have passed. It’s quite nice to have reached the end of this series of Shakespeare Awards after starting with Bronze in Year 10 and I feel I have improved with it.”

Listen to Pip’s monologue from Romeo and Juliet below.

Adele went for monologues from Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as presenting how she would have staged Richard II amid the setting of a Mafia syndicate.

She said: “I liked the Hamlet piece because it’s quite complex. It can be played from a multitude of viewpoints. Despite the fact of being depressed, Hamlet is still a young adult, he’s still maturing and he doesn’t know what he is without his parents.

“With Puck’s monologue, it was just a bit of fun. It’s quite a playful piece and the escapades he describes are really interesting.

“With Richard II, I still set it in Britain, but there are a few cartels involved and underhand murders. Also religion became an interesting concept because stereotypically in gangs and the Mafia, religion often plays a very important role. This isn’t too far from the traditional idea of a God-anointed monarch, which is perhaps the key dispute within the play.

“It feels really good to have achieved this. There’s a sense of satisfaction in completing the whole course.”

Hear Adele perform her monologue from Hamlet below.

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