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Quarry Bank teacher to star in prestigious RSC production
12:00pm Saturday 15th September 2012 in News
A QUARRY Bank teacher is among a select group of amateur actors from the Midlands picked to work alongside top theatre professionals for a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays.
Chris Clarke, curriculum leader for performing arts at Thorns Community College, has been chosen to join the RSC Amateur Ensemble for a performance of Pericles at the Courtyard Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon.
Rehearsals are already underway for the show - a new collaboration between the RSC's professional creative and production teams and amateur performers - which will run from October 5 to 7.
The RSC received nearly 400 applications from aspiring theatre stars keen to take part but only 30 were lucky enough to be selected for the production - directed by James Farrell and Jamie Rocha Allan, who held a workshop at Thorns last week with students and Mr Clark who will be playing a brothel owner in the show.
The long-serving teacher, a popular performer on the amateur dramatics circuit, said: “To perform on stage with the RSC is probably every actor's dream. As an amateur actor I feel immensely proud that I've made it into the final cast."
Dudley Little Theatre thespian Rebecca Clee was also selected to be part of the RSC Amateur Ensemble’s production of Pericles, which is the final part of the RSC’s What Country Friends is This? season - part of the World Shakespeare Festival and part of the RSC’s Open Stages project celebrating amateur theatre.
The diverse amateur actress, who treads the boards with Dudley Little Theatre, recently starred in the company’s production of The Glass Menagerie and last year entertained theatregoers with her depiction of comedy character Sybil in DLT’s hit production of Fawlty Towers.
She described working with the RSC as “a once in a lifetime experience” and said: “We are treated in exactly the same way as their professional ensemble and I feel very honoured to be taking part.”
Both Rebecca and Mr Clarke will be working with RSC directors, designers, stage managers and technicians to bring to life Shakespeare's tragic romance which takes the title character on an epic voyage for survival.
RSC Open Stages producer Ian Wainwright said: “We’re delighted to be working with such a talented cast of amateur actors to create the first ever RSC Amateur Ensemble for this production of Pericles.
“From now until opening night they will be collaborating with the RSC professional creative and production teams on all areas of the production, from voice and movement to costume and lighting.
“This will provide our cast with unique insight and experience into the process of putting on a professional theatre production.”
For show tickets call the box office - 0844 800 1110.