Stratford Residential

The University of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute welcomed 96 undergraduate students from the Department of English Literature to the annual Stratford Residential in June 2016.

This unique opportunity brings together second and third year students from across single and joint honours programmes to take part in three days of literary and creative workshops, and social and cultural events, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Matt Hayler leading a group discussion

In addition to sessions led by University of Birmingham academics, this year’s programme was jointly delivered by the Royal Shakespeare Company, through the University’s collaboration at The Other Place. It included creative writing workshops with RSC Playwright Phil Porter, acting workshops with RSC Actress Hannah Young and the exclusive opportunity for a small group of students to work intensively with RSC Director Mel Hillyard and devise an original ‘play in 2 days’. The talented group of students participating in this latter project also performed their play to the entire Residential cohort in the RSC’s The Other Place theatre.

Working with the RSC

Over the course of the Residential, students attended RSC performances of Dr Faustus and Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres, heard directly from RSC Director Simon Godwin and Assistant Director Josh Roche about their productions and enjoyed backstage tours of The Other Place and RST Front of House area.


Of the experience, one student wrote: “Productions were incredible, Q&As with assistant directors/directors felt incredibly privileged”. When asked what the highlights of the programme were, others commented: “Seeing the rehearsal at The Other Place and the costume store was incredible”; “Looking at Shakespeare in an entirely new light”; and “Getting to do workshops not usually offered at University”.

Students in the garden of the Shakespeare Institute

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