Moreton Hall pupil Jessica Middleton has won the second heat of the English Speaking Union (ESU) Performing Shakespeare Competition. and advances to the regional finals this summer.

The second heat of the competition held in The Holroyd Community Theatre, Weston Rhyn saw talented performing arts students from schools across the region taking to the stage.

Having excelled in the first round of the competition, the pressure was on for Year 9 pupil Jessica and her fellow competitors to deliver memorable performances. And they did not disappoint. Each participant brought their own unique interpretation to the Bard’s work, making for a truly captivating evening of oracy.

Kate Howells, Head of Drama at Moreton Hall said, “After much deliberation, the judge announced the winners of the heat, and it was with great pleasure that we learned of Jessica’s success. Not only did she secure a place in the regional finals in May, but she also earned the title of overall winner of the heat, scoring an impressive 19 out of 20.”

Should Jessica continue her winning streak in the next round, she will have the incredible opportunity to perform at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in June. Kate Howells added: “We have no doubt that Jessica will excel in this next challenge.”

Film director and ESU judge, Anne-Marie Scragg, was particularly impressed with Jessica’s performance. She commended her for her deep understanding of her character’s objectives and motivation, noting that her performance was “beautifully internalised”.

Michael Jenkins, Creative Director of The Holroyd Community Theatre and Drama teacher added, “We wish Jessica the very best of luck in the upcoming regional finals and are excited to see where this competition takes her.”