Doncaster students will compete in poetry competition at Shakespeare’s Globe in London

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Students from Astrea Academy Woodfields are heading to the Globe theatre in London as finalists in the ‘freestyle’ poetry competition on 1 July.

Woodfields Academy, in Doncaster, will be sending 13 students to perform in the ‘Poetry by heart’ final, held at Shakespeare’s playhouse in London.

Students who belong to the after school Drama club have been practising their poem ‘Invictus’ by William Ernest Henley, which was also recited by Nelson Mandela to other prisoners at Robben Island prison during his incarceration.

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The students perform the work together, in a group as a physical ensemble piece, by starting their recitation in a boat formation, moving around the stage and delivering the iconic final lines “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” This performance was filmed and submitted to the competition just before Easter.

Doncaster students will compete in poetry competition at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.Doncaster students will compete in poetry competition at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
Doncaster students will compete in poetry competition at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

‘Poetry by heart’ has received a ‘record breaking’ number of entries this year. In total, over 110,000 youngsters took part, 48,000 poems were performed by heart and 3030 entries were submitted. Woodfields students secured one of the 18 places in the final.

Julie Atkins, Vice Principal and Drama teacher and Sabaa Hussain English teacher said: “We are so proud of our drama students. Not only are they testing their memory and recall when they perform freestyle poetry, they have also put in that extra level of feeling and emotion which has clearly spoken to the adjudicators. It’s a beautiful poem about strength, courage and remembering you are the person in charge of your own destiny.”

David Scales, Principal of Woodfields said: "This is the first time that we've entered this national competition and we're incredibly excited that our students will be performing at the Globe in July. I will be there in London to see our inspiring scholars deliver this unique and evocative rendition of this poem."

Staff and students will be heading to London to perform in the poetry competition at the beginning of July.

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