Inspired by the history of West Horsley Place

We spent a fun morning recently with Guildford Shakespeare Company getting started on our exciting project with The Raleigh School, our local primary school in West Horsley. History and drama are coming together as the Year 6s (aged 10-11) create an Elizabethan world, inspired by the masque held here in 1559.

Rob Cann, Education & Outreach Operations Manager at Guildford Shakespeare Company (GSC) explained the plan:

“We’re delighted to work in collaboration with West Horsley Place and The Raleigh School. This exciting week in July will re-imagine the 1559 'Festival of Revels' with a special promenade performance throughout the house and grounds of West Horsley Place.”

Meet the actors

man performing in front of schoolchildren

In a special assembly, Year 6 had a chance to meet the actors and find out about the project. It’s not just performing: the children will be doing a range of activities at school, preparing for their day at West Horsley Place.

“Young actors from The Raleigh School will be busy making masks, creating costumes, and cooking culinary delights,” said Rob, “as well as rehearsing towards scenes from Shakespeare and from history to highlight the rich history of West Horsley Place. We can't wait to make this event fit for a Queen!”

actors with swords in school hall

Mrs Helen Foran, who teaches Year 6 Willow Class at The Raleigh School, says they are looking forward to the week’s events.   

“The Year 6 children are very excited to be working with professional actors from the Guildford Shakespeare Company. It will be an amazing finale to the end of their time at primary school and fabulous that they can share the performance with their parents in the stunning grounds of West Horsley Place.”

West Horsley Place’s Heritage, Arts and Learning Manager, Clare Clinton and Jo Ellison, Community Engagement and Project Coordinator, were at the school, and also talked to the children a few weeks before about the history of the house.

“We love working with The Raleigh School at West Horsley Place,” said Claire, “It’s always a treat to have the children in the house and gardens. We can’t wait to see what GSC and the pupils create together, inspired by our history.”