Bristol independent school launches ‘boarding for adults’
Many parents and grandparents whose children and grandchildren are at boarding school wish that they could attend with them. Now they can, thanks to an innovative course for adults this December being launched by a Bristol boarding school.
Clifton College, one of the world’s leading co-educational boarding schools, is launching a residential course for adults about two of Shakespeare best-loved plays. The course – running from 2-9 December – is a week- long literary retreat in beautiful surroundings. This course will be a first for a British independent school, continuing Clifton College’s track record of educational innovations.
Fiona Hallworth, Director of Heritage at Clifton College, said: “Clifton College is renowned for its thespian heritage. Famous Old Cliftonians with Shakespearean connections include Sir Michael Redgrave and Simon Russell Beale. This course is another way for us to enhance the educational experience we can provide to families.”
All are welcome – participants do not need to have children or grandchildren at the school.
The adult participants will have the freedom to enjoy the opulent surroundings of their very own “boarding house” (a private country mansion and its grounds) with meals prepared by a resident cordon bleu chef.
The grown-up pupils’ curriculum will include:
- Studying the text of Shakespeare’s Henry V in detail, with guidance and input on the literary, linguistic and historical contexts from experts and experienced tutors
- Learning how to prepare and perform parts of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night using the historically authentic technique of cue-scripting
- A performance workshop, where they can learn practical theatrical skills
- “School trips” to Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits in Somerset
- Attending a Christmas carol service at Clifton College
- A black-tie gala dinner
- Adam D’Souza, course director, said: “The two chosen plays are especially appropriate. 2015 marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, when King Henry V defeated the French, while Twelfth Night is set during the Christmas season.” “We’re delighted to join forces with Clifton College to offer such an innovative course. Regardless of whether your children are at Clifton College, we hope you can join us. This Christmas Shakespeare Retreat will be a must for lovers of the Bard; we aim to present participants with fresh new insights on his works.”
Wonderful Gala Night as Vinehall School opens The Chaplin Theatre (pic1)
Vinehall School returned for the start of the Michaelmas Term on Thursday 4th September. With increased pupil numbers through the Prep School there was great excitement for the start of the new curriculum and timetable, which has changed dramatically from last year. Vinehall now operates an earlier finish to the school day and an optional enrichment programme after school and on Saturdays offering over thirty different activities each week.
The highlight of the start to the term for the children was the opening of the newly renovated school theatre, renamed The Chaplin Theatre. The name is recognition of the work by former Headmaster David Chaplin OBE, whose vision and commitment to performing arts at Vinehall over his 25 year tenure as headmaster raised the standard and turned the vision of a theatre at Vinehall into reality.
The Chaplin Theatre is a purpose built facility with 260 new tiered seats, floor level air conditioning and an acoustic sound canopy which will ensure the highest levels of performance can be maintained for many years to come. Vinehall Headmaster Richard Follett said “The Chaplin Theatre is long-overdue recognition of the lasting impact David Chaplin had on the school and in particular music and drama, which were great passions of his. The theatre celebrated its 25th birthday this year, so it was a fitting time to completely renovate it with the end result of a professional standard theatre to last long into the future. Generations of Vinehall pupils will really reap the benefits, no doubt following in the footsteps of a great many former Vinehall pupils who have gone on to forge successful careers on the stage and musically.”
Following an opening ceremony for the pupils on Thursday, a gala evening for parents and Vinehall governors took place on Saturday. David Chaplin unveiled the plaque commemorating the naming of the Chaplin Theatre and gave a brief history of performing arts at the school, complete with video clips from past productions and a performance of ‘Summertime’ by former Vinehall pupil Caroline Jones.
The highlight of the evening was when David Chaplin’s son Tom, lead singer of the band Keane and former Vinehall pupil himself, took to the stage. Tom sang a collection of Keane hits as well as two of his new solo project songs which will appear on his forthcoming album. The reaction from the packed theatre was overwhelmingly positive and he is certain to have further chart success.
The Chaplin Theatre at Vinehall is also venue for the Vinehall Music Society, now celebrating its 26th season, which holds a series of classical music concerts each year. World-renowned professional musicians visit to perform and most concerts sell out quickly. This year the first concert in the season will be performed by the English Chamber Orchestra Wind Ensemble on Saturday 4th October at 7.30pm. Further information may be found on the school website www.vinehallschool.com