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EnglishPart of Humanities

English students to direct Shakespeare play - in a week

Published: 6 December 2012
Shakespeare in a week

English finalist Lydia Longman has come up with an idea to bring Shakespeare into the heart of Southampton’s campus. Along with fellow English students Stephen Watkins, Sally White and Sarah Divall, as well as students and graduates from History and Engineering, she has come up with a plan to stage one of Shakespeare’s comedies - with just a week to prepare.

The chosen play is still a closely-guarded secret, and will remain so until a week before the first performance, due to begin at 12 noon on 9 February 2013. The roving performance will take place around the Student Union building, led by a team of ushers that will double up as the play’s Chorus. The principal parts will be played by just six actors, who will meet and learn the name of the play they are to perform for the first time at noon on February 2. These are not the only challenges that the Shakespeare in a Week team have set themselves; Lydia says, ‘We have a £0 budget and are looking all over the place for donations of props, costumes and money for promotional materials. This means we can put 100% of our profits into our chosen charity, Great Ormond Street Hospital’.

Lydia has been nursing this idea for almost two years since she was an actor in the Students' Union Theatre Group's the first 'independent play’, a piece devised over the week from some abstract ideas. The experience inspired her to think about how the same format could be used to share Shakespeare in a different and interactive way.

If you want to get involved in Shakespeare in a Week, why not audition? Auditions take place on Sunday 9 December from 5.30pm and Wednesday 12 December from 4.30pm in the Murray Building (no. 58).

For more information, visit the Shakespeare in a Week Blog at or e-mail the team at

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