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Women and Leadership Conference at the Royal Shakespeare Company

RR6 at RSCRicards Lodge High School tells YMT about a group of students who attended the conference in May:

A group of our RR6 A level Drama and Level 3 performing Arts students were among the sixth form students who attended a Women and Leadership conference held in Stratford upon Avon on Monday 8th May. The event was hosted by RSC Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman.

The conference focused on Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra which travels between Rome and Egypt and centres around Cleopatra’s leadership. The conference also went on to explore the role of women as leaders and figureheads in society. The day started with a discussion with Josette Simon who plays Cleopatra and Antony Byrne who plays Mark Antony. The rest of the day was spent in workshops exploring what it means to be a woman in a position of power; and whether or not we value and admire the same qualities in female leaders as we do in male leaders.

The final activity was a panel discussion with Josette Simon actress, Iqbal Khan Director of this production of Antony and Cleopatra, Abigail Rockison-Woodhall from the Shakespeare Institute and our very own Year 12 drama student Davida Afriyie.

Davida was asked her views on 'to what extent does the media have in encouraging women to use their sexual charms to get what they want'; her response was to say that ‘we should be striving for a meritocracy where hard work and merit should enable everyone to reach their potential and put an end to the concept of women having to break through a glass ceiling’. Students then had the opportunity to see the production of Antony and Cleopatra at the RSC’s magnificent Waterside theatre. Alex in Year 12 commented ‘this was a fantastic opportunity to explore one of Shakespeare’s texts in such depth and be able to discuss some of the key themes and issues in the play with other students from other schools’.

To watch the panel discussion in full please go to:


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