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As part of the exciting collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and the University of Birmingham, 14 Drama and Theatre Arts undergraduates participated in a 3-day online workshop, led by RSC Director Owen Horsley.

The workshop focused on the three parts of Shakespeare’s Henry VI, and the RSC’s forthcoming production of The Wars of the Roses, which Owen is co-directing with RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran. 

A rose with the text 'The Wars of the Roses' overlaid

Over the course of the 3 days, the students worked with Owen to explore the trilogy in depth. Through exercises on verse and rhetoric, as well as directorial challenges and thematic discussion, the group unearthed the rich and complex language, and tackled the imaginative feat of staging such an epic story.  Despite being online, the workshop included a variety of practical and physical elements.

The RSC’s production of The Wars of the Roses has been postponed from Autumn 2020 to Autumn 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The highlight for me was when we all came up with a idea of where and how to stage the first scene in Henry VI part 2. Sharing what we'd come up with with each other was really enjoyable and it was great to see what everyone else had done.” 

“The sense of community”

“Getting to create our online ‘performance’ for a panel of RSC employees at the end of the workshop”

“Learning more about a quite niche Shakespeare play”

“Getting to work with Owen and getting valuable advice from him. Having some structure and opportunity to learn something new in this difficult time.”

“Learning from Owen and meeting Gregory Doran!”

“Working with a top director and learning loads of transferable skills which will really improve my acting and analysis of Shakespeare.”

“Working through all the different tools to help understand and analyse a character’s language.”

With our own theatre and links to professional practitioners in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, London and beyond, our undergraduate Drama and Theatre Arts programme at Birmingham combines theory and practice.

Whether your interest lies in Elizabethan drama, live art, British playwrights or theatre for young audiences, you will have the opportunity to experience a variety of drama and theatre before specialising in your favourite areas. During your time at the University of Birmingham, we will help you develop into a confident researcher and performer, and to build a diverse and attractive professional profile. 

Photograph of a group of undergraduate Drama degree students from the University of Birmingham