Festival Alumnus: Vici Royle

“It was a bizarre and amazing experience. Overwhelming in the greatest of ways.”

Through the Festival, Vici Royle from Glasgow developed confidence and leadership skills that have set her up for a successful career at the University of Strathclyde.

Vici had always had an interest in drama, but she describes the Festival as the project that really “kept the fire burning” through exams, friendships and all the day-to-day pressures of education. The Festival helped Vici see that she “could be the person up there on stage”, an important realisation at a key time in her life. Years later, this confidence and willingness to be heard proved invaluable in job and university interviews.

After the Festival, Vici went on to an internship at a prestigious theatre, learning about, and working with, theatrical lighting. Her university dissertation was on The Tempest. It’s clear that the Shakespeare Schools Festival had a profound impact on Vici’s life. It not only “kept the fire burning” but sparked something much bigger – a lifelong love of Shakespeare, and the opening of doors: to the arts; to the confidence to try new things; to a successful career in higher education.

Having taken part in the Festival twice – first as Brabantio in Othello and then as a student director of The Tempest – Vici made friends from across her school. She recalls fondly how “other people in [her] year were impressed that I had friends in different year groups”. The experience of directing scenes built the key communication skills that Vici now employs as part of University of Strathclyde’s ‘Researcher Enhancement Service’. Her job is to support PhD students at the university, making sure they have the resources needed to carry out their research. The organisational and management skills developed as a student director have been invaluable.

Vici’s not the only person in her family whose life has been profoundly affected by the Festival, however. Her brother now works in the navy, based in Bahrain. Before joining the navy he did a drama degree, following a passion, which like Vici’s, had been ignited in earnest by the Shakespeare Schools Festival.

For Vici and her brother, the Festival really has had a lasting impact.

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.

Learn more about us