Two Bristol students have clinched the top awards in English Speaking Board’s Sixty Second Shakespeare Challenge

The exciting competition, launched by ESB to commemorate 400 years of Shakespeare, attracted entries from across the UK. Entrants were required to submit a video recording of themselves performing one of Shakespeare’s 157 sonnets.

First prize is awarded to Year 10 pupil Molly Drake from Redmaids’ High School in Bristol. Joint runner-up is Nikita Mehta, another Year 10 pupil from Redmaids’ High School.

Overall winner Molly receives an overnight stay for two in Stratford-upon-Avon, with two tickets to an RSC production and a hardback copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works. Nikita receives a paperback copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works. The prizes have been kindly sponsored by Young Enterprise and Palgrave Macmillan.

ESB’s Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw, says: “We received some wonderful videos from pupils which not only highlighted their talents as performers but also their love of Shakespeare. Molly and Nikita gave outstanding renditions of their favourite sonnets and are worthy winners. It was a very high standard overall and I would like to congratulate everyone who took part.”

Tina will visit Redmaids’ High School to present their prizes. In addition, Molly and Nikita have been invited to perform their winning sonnets at ESB’s annual Young Speaker of the Year awards ceremony being held at Worcester’s The Old Palace in November. There, the Sixty-Second Shakespeare Challenge winners will perform alongside other students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in their ESB assessments this year.

Head of Redmaids’ High School, Isabel Tobias says “I am absolutely delighted for both Molly and Niki. For two of our students to place first and runner up in a national competition is a tremendous achievement. It reflects great ability on the girls’ part, but is also indicative of the wealth of performance talent we have here at Red Maids’.”

For more information on Redmaids’ High School visit redmaidshigh.co.uk