Confidence through creativity – SSF’s Gala Dinner and Auction

Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s first ever Gala Dinner and Auction highlighted the crucial role our work plays in giving children confidence they need for life.

As part of this special evening, performers from five schools stepped into the spotlight, presenting Shakespearean vignettes with their own creative twist, to an audience of invited guests.

Dame Harriet Walter joined a performer from Holland Park School

The event took place in the beautiful surroundings of Senate House Library, which fittingly has a showpiece staircase featuring the visage of the Bard himself. SSF Patrons Dame Harriet Walter and John Heffernan, and actors Clare Perkins and Charity Wakefield, joined children on stage for some performances, in an evening designed to raise vital funds for Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s work.

John Heffernan performed alongside Arnhem Wharf Primary School

Our young performers embraced the challenge of presenting their work in a new setting, impressing audience members and special guests. One child spoke of the thrill of performing, “On stage, when all eyes are on me, I have butterflies in my stomach. I like that feeling!”

Actors Clare Perkins and Charity Wakefield lent their acting talents

Actor Clare Perkins said, “I’m amazed by how good these young people are. For them to perform Shakespeare with such confidence at such a young age is an incredible achievement.”

The many highlights from the evening included a stirring speech from Henry V delivered by a young performer from Holland Park School and Dame Harriet Walter, and scenes from Romeo and Juliet by Foreland Fields School, a special school in Ramsgate.

Foreland Fields School delivered an emotive Romeo and Juliet

As our host for the evening, we were delighted to welcome impressionist Jan Ravens, who brought the house down with a specially written set which imagined politicians and celebrities performing Shakespeare.

For our charity, this was an opportunity to showcase the impact of our work. In her speech, our Chief Executive Ruth Brock said, “We know that creativity unites. Art transcends borders, heals divisions, nurtures empathy and collaboration.” 

Dinas Powys Primary School performing The Tempest - flash mob style

We are extremely grateful to all those who attended our event, and whose support will help us to transform more lives through the unique power of Shakespeare.

Park High School performed scenes from Richard III

A special thank you to all those who donated auction prizes, our host Jan Ravens, and to all those patrons and professional actors who joined our young performers on stage!

Thanks to Jan Ravens, our host for the evening

Find out how our work is impacting young lives in Knowsley.

Coram SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

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