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King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon (”Shakespeare’s School”) is a selective state school for boys, and since 2012 has welcomed girls into the Sixth Form. Established by the Guild of the Holy Cross, the School can trace its origins to May 1295, when in the Register of Deacons of the Diocese of Worcester there is the record of the ordination of Richard as rector scholarum, to teach the basics of learning the alphabet, psalters, and religious rites to boys.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Since about 2005 boys from K.E.S. have been performing rarely-seen plays from the repertoire of the early modern Boys’ Companies under the direction of Perry Mills, Deputy Head. In the sixteenth-century, these boy acting companies grew out of the humanist grammar school and choir school systems, performing at the royal court and the private houses of the aristocracy, before coming to prominence in the emergent commercial theatre of the 1570s-1580s and terminating in the early 1590s. The companies later enjoyed a resurgence around the turn of the seventeenth-century, from the re-founding of the Children of Paul’s in 1599 (who disbanded c.1606), until the Children of the Queen’s Revels were assimilated into the Lady Elizabeth’s Men in 1613.
The impetus for the Edward’s Boys project grew initially out of K.E.S’s involvement with Michael Wood’s BBC series In Search of Shakespeare and subsequent workshops on the Elizabethan Boy Player developed with Professor Carol Chillington Rutter of the University of Warwick. An exploration of contemporary performance possibilities, the company does not pretend to be able to recreate “original practices” (whatever that may mean...)‌

Testbed Productions is working closely with the Thomas Nashe project and supporting it with audio and podcasts.  Many of Nashe’s contemporaries would have encountered texts like The Terrors of the Night not as cold print but as words read aloud.  Oral culture ruled in Nashe’s age  - and in the world of audio production companies like Testbed it still does.  The company produces lots of history culture and language programmes for BBC Radio, including the language programme Fry’s English Delight with Stephen Fry.