Rehearsals begin for Berkhamsted theatre company created to help "forgotten" young actors

The Shakespeare Circus started practising on Saturday (May 7) for its first production, The Tempest.

Monday, 9th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2022, 12:30 pm

A Berkhamsted theatre company created to help young people affected by coronavirus started rehearsals on May 7 for its first production.

The newly-launched The Shakespeare Circus is run by Victoria William, of Gobstoppers Theatre Arts school, and Michael Corbidge, a voice and text associate with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Victoria said: “The pandemic crushed the dreams of young drama students and performers, but we will give some of them the opportunities on which they missed out.”

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Young actors include: Will Keeble, Ynaqui Tuason-Inocian, Stefano Guerriero, Ellie Daniels, Tom Dalrymple, Sam Mellows, Arabella Ross, Kat Munroe, Carys Clempner, Seyi Falas George Almond and Rhys Williams.

Her son, Rhys, is part of the group of young people who are working on their open-air play.

The 20-year-old said: “I can’t get wait to get back in front of a real audience again.”

He added: “After leaving school I did a course with a group called ‘All In Actors’. But the pandemic meant that the last half of it was online. Going on tour with The Shakespeare Circus will be an amazing opportunity.”

Victoria hopes that The Shakespeare Circus will help young actors she says were “sort of forgotten” during the pandemic and as theatres opened again.

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The mother of four explained: “Young people at drama schools and on theatre-related courses at university had to do everything online during the pandemic.

She continued: “Then when they graduated there were none of the usual showcase events put on for agents to look for new talent and the theatres were all shut. When the theatres did open, and showcases were held again, at last, they were for the next crop of graduates."

Victoria and her husband, Chris, run a Gobstoppers Theatre Arts school as well as amateur singing and acting groups at The Gable Hall.

Both Michael and Victoria chose Shakespeare’s work to be the centre of the company as they believe that his plays were to be performed in a way that engaged the audience.

Victoria said: “The name we’ve chosen for our company – Shakespeare’s Circus – is about the young actors thriving on that audience engagement and The Tempest is perfect because it is full of magic.”

The Shakespeare Circus will tour this production with one of the first stops being at Berkhamsted’s Ashridge House.