Back to school for the grown-ups

Bristol independent co-educational boarding school Clifton College is launching an innovative ‘boarding for adults’ scheme

Many parents and grandparents whose children and grandchildren are at boarding school wish that they could attend with them. Now they can, thanks to an innovative course for adults this December being launched by a Bristol boarding school.

Clifton College is launching a residential course for adults about two of Shakespeare best-loved plays. The course – running from 2-9 December – is a week-long literary retreat in beautiful surroundings. This course will be a first for a British independent school, continuing Clifton College’s track record of educational innovations.

Fiona Hallworth, director of heritage at Clifton College, said: “Clifton College is renowned for its thespian heritage. Famous Old Cliftonians with Shakespearean connections include Sir Michael Redgrave and Simon Russell Beale. This course is another way for us to enhance the educational experience we can provide to families.”

All are welcome – participants do not need to have children or grandchildren at the school.

The adult participants will have the freedom to enjoy the opulent surroundings of their very own “boarding house” (a private country mansion and its grounds), with meals prepared by a resident cordon bleu chef.

The grown-up pupils’ curriculum will include:

  • Studying the text of Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’ in detail, with guidance and input on the literary, linguistic and historical contexts from experts and experienced tutors
    • Learning how to prepare and perform parts of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ using the historically authentic technique of cue-scripting
    • A performance workshop, where they can learn practical theatrical skills
    • “School trips” to Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits in Somerset
    • Attending a Christmas carol service at Clifton College
    • A black-tie gala dinner

Adam D’Souza, course director, said: “The two chosen plays are especially appropriate. 2015 marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, when King Henry V defeated the French, while ‘Twelfth Night’ is set during the Christmas season.”

“We’re delighted to join forces with Clifton College to offer such an innovative course. Regardless of whether your children are at Clifton College, we hope you can join us. This Christmas Shakespeare Retreat will be a must for lovers of the Bard; we aim to present participants with fresh new insights on his works.”

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