Tom Ryalls, should we ban Shakespeare?

  • St Mary’s University

In a Masterclass with Tom Ryalls, a.k.a. BAP!, Writing&Talking Club members from St Mary’s University Twickenham explored what it means to disrupt the ‘conventional’ rules of theatre. Tom introduced Club members to formally ‘wild’ scripts, including Anne Washburn’s ‘Mr. Burns’ and Athol Fugard’s ‘The Island’.

Thinking about theatre in the age of Shakespeare and how to re-write traditional expectations, Club members devised their own rule-breaking pieces about topics of their choosing. Together they explored confrontation, coming-of-age, and headlines including the cost-of-living crisis.

Throughout the Masterclass, Tom encouraged Club members to consider what there is to be learned from traditional forms, sparking debate on whether or not Shakespeare should be at the centre of school syllabuses. The Club members formed a ‘Theatre Government’ to share their opinions on the future of theatre and the expectations surrounding audience etiquette.

Photography by Shots by Lasagne/Anya Ellis

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