The Shakespeare Drama Festival
Overheard conversation at a noisy party: "So what do you do then?"; "I'm an actuary". "Really, what plays have you been in recently?"
The Shakespeare Schools Drama Festival began in July and involved 60 London secondary schools and 2000 young actors putting on performances across the capital. It culminated in a performance at the Duke of York's Theatre on 25 November 2001 showcasing four of the performances to illustrate both the best and also the wide range of styles that the Festival had produced.
Barnett Waddingham are pleased to support this project financially and I was delighted to attend the final event (and sit just a few seats away from Cherie Blair and Tessa Jowell although I don't think they recognised me). The performances were of a very high standard both in terms of the acting and also the design and production aspects. To keep my own young children gripped by two hours of Shakespeare is no mean feat! (The performances were based on abridged versions of 30 minutes each originally used for animated television versions).
Many of the other attendees worked in the educational field and were intrigued that a firm of actuaries was supporting the event. Apart from being a good cause in its own right the ability to communicate is essential in the kind of work that we do and to have had the opportunity at school to perform in front of a room full of people is very useful background. (There are differences of course - the words that an actor speaks are usually fiction, whereas actuaries........).
Having begun in 2000 with a pilot project in Wales (which is where senior partner Huw Wynne-Griffith first got involved) there are plans for the future to expand the project across the whole country, so if you have children at secondary school there is a good chance you will hear about events near you in the coming years - if so I urge you to go along and give your support.
To find out more visit the website at www.ssf.uk.com
Barnett Waddingham, December 2001.