On June 15th 2018 my Department ran a RADA Bronze Award Schools Day, where we teamed up with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to provide the means for Year 10 students from the Coventry and Warwickshire area to study for a Shakespeare Award. We ran this in conjunction with the Colonial Hangover project. The engagement with RADA will develop over a series of sessions, each of which will explore themes of territory and empire in Shakespeare's plays. I delivered the opening lecture of the first day to 60 fifteen-year-olds and their teachers. It was entitled, 'The Colonial Hangover Project: What Should Our Instinctive Response to the British Empire Be Today?'
The second event was held on June 29th and was entitled 'Exploring Shakespeare'. I gave a short talk as a taster for the concluding event on the controversies surrounding the statues in Parliament Square, contrasting this to the politically non-controversial statues of Shakespeare and Shakespearean characters that appear in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. This followed lectures by my colleagues Stuart Elden and Shahnaz Akhter on 'Shakespeare and Territory' and 'Shakespeare and Hip Hop' respectively.
The third event was held on July 10th and was entitled 'Shakespeare at the Houses of Parliament'. I delivered a lecture entitled 'The Politics of Statues', before the students delivered their interpretations of political scenes in Shakespeare in front of our invited guests from RADA. We then took the students into Parliament Square to look at the statues there, and my colleague Jason Dymydiuk prepared an information sheet for them on potential political controversies surrounding many of Westminster's most famous public works of art.