Since our article about Shakespeare at the Castle, a young member of the company expressed her concerns

By Roger Williams in Local People

Freya Hoban is sixteen and lives in Stoke Fleming with her grandparents and mother. She is a Kingsbridge Community College sixth-former and is studying A level Drama and BTEC Music Performance.

She is aiming to go to Drama college, preferably Bristol Old Vic but is also considering doing Drama at a university.

Freya has performed in many school shows at KCC including: Bugsy Malone, Jesus Christ Superstar and Miss Saigon. Freya’s A level drama performance was as Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.

Recently, she has been in Dartmouth Shakespeare Week’s Romeo and Juliet as Balthazar where she also was fight director. She has been with the company since she was nine years old.

On hearing of the company’s problems, Freya contacted the Chronicle to tell just how important The Inn theatre Company has been to her development, and the development of others, as actors: “I started off as a sheep in As You Like It and now I am Miranda in their touring production of The Tempest and assistant director of Dartmouth Shakespeare Week’s Othello.

“It breaks my heart to know and tell you that the company is at risk. Sadly, Othello could be their last production up at the castle.

“Sponsors are dropping out like flies and it costs roughly £16,000 to put on a week of performances and they aren’t getting enough money.

“It would be a great shame to let it go, because I know that many people plan their holidays around the show week.

“I know one very talented boy called Kieron Gooding who has set his heart on becoming an actor and because Government Directives have forced Dartmouth Academy to push Drama out of the GCSE curriculum, the company is extremely important to him and his future.

“A couple of years back, the company awarded me with a bursary of £500 which allowed me to study with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a week. In total I have studied with them 9 times!

“Without sponsorship, the company can’t give out any more bursaries which is a shame because it really benefitted me and it would do for other young people.

“f they don’t have enough money, then ticket prices will have to go up, meaning that many people wouldn’t be able to see the plays.

“The company could have a members fee, but then people like Kieron and I wouldn’t be able to afford to be part of a company we cherish.

A member of an audience said “It was my 12-year-old son’s first Shakespeare and he loved it. Such fun!” It is important for young people to see live theatre, especially Shakespeare because I believe that it is taught wrong in schools.

“Students will walk into an English lesson and complain if they are being taught Shakespeare, the problem is that Shakespeare plays are meant to be performed and not read!

“Students can’t just read the text and analyse it because you have to see the physicality of the stories and all the important acting that helps to get emotions across, otherwise young people will forever be questioning what Will meant!

“When my mother was at school the bad teaching affected her and she hated Shakespeare, until I became obsessed and inspired by his works. Mum has said to quite a few people “Since Freya has become infatuated with Shakespeare, it has helped me to understand and realise how beautiful his works are!’”

“To anybody considering sponsoring this is a highly prestigious event in Dartmouth’s calendar and mentioned as a ‘must see in Devon’ on Trip Advisor 2016, also they were mentioned on Expedia’s top 10 must see Shakespeare for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death!

“If I may say so myself the company is well worth sponsoring! Now, let me tell you exactly how much The Inn Theatre Company and the people in it mean to me; I call them my ‘Shakespeare Family’ at that tells you everything!

“I literally can’t live without them because they always make me happy, I fit in with them and rehearsals brighten up my week because we have so much fun and I know that the others feel the same as I do.

“If you would like to sponsor The Inn Theatre Company, then you can drop them an email at the address on their website.

“Please support this amazing company to help young people, the community and let them play on!”

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