Award-winning actor Jessica Hynes gives inspiring talk to Perse students

Stage and screen star Jessica Hynes gave an entertaining and reflective 42 lecture to Perse pupils on the importance of drama.

The BAFTA-winning actor’s roles have included performances in TV shows such as The Royle Family and There She Goes and films including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the Nativity series.

It was in a different role though, as patron of National Drama – the UK’s leading subject association for drama teachers and theatre educators, that Jessica visited The Perse for an event organised by the school’s English & drama department.

She spoke about the influence of a favourite primary school teacher, along with her involvement in a Saturday morning drama group, on giving her a love for drama prior to establishing a successful career.

However, Jessica told students she had become increasingly passionate and aware of the vital part drama could play in society.

Jessica said: “I’ve begun to really appreciate how important drama is and what it does for children and adults and how it can transform the way you feel.”

As such, she recently became an ambassador for Dramatic Recovery, a Liverpool-based organisation which uses drama and the arts to promote positive mental health and wellbeing through creative workshops.

Jessica explained that Dramatic Recovery’s services are even socially prescribed by GPs in Merseyside to help address areas such as emotional health, anxiety, social support and isolation.

She said she had interviewed some of the people the organisation works with for a documentary and had been amazed at how much taking part in drama and writing sessions had given them a boost.

“It’s cemented and solidified my passion for drama, drama that brings people connection and joy,” Jessica added.

Highlighting the fun drama can bring, Jessica encouraged the audience to recreate the sounds of the rainforest.

Split into two groups of chirruping cicadas and loud jungle creatures, students (and teachers) filled the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre auditorium with noise, culminating in a boisterous monkey fight, leading to lots of laughs all round.

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