Why did you choose your course at the University of Birmingham?

I knew a couple of people who had gone to the Shakespeare Institute and they are fascinating people who can discuss Shakespeare deeply on a variety of topics. When it came to choosing a place to do a masters program I remembered them and thought that I would want my postgraduate course to give me this type of profound knowledge upon which to draw for my future career choices. I am truly enjoying studying Shakespeare from many different angles and deepening my passion for this work with every module.

What has been the highlight of your course and why?

I loved the module Bodies of Knowledge and Professor Chris Laoutaris! Chris has designed this module in such a creative way and he got us to examine the plays through unexpected and delightful lenses. He was a kind and generous teacher who inspired me to want to delve deeper into my enjoyment of Shakespeare’s work and carry on those investigations in the years to come.

What have you learnt from your course?

I have encountered so many new ways of looking at theatre studies and the creative work of putting theatre together. In my previous work as Artistic Director of my own company I was always a “one-man-band,” doing all the jobs myself, but now I have discovered colleagues and fellow “geeks” with whom I hope to continue collaborating. It has also been an honour to work with incredible professionals from the RSC – the opportunity of a lifetime!

I have also learned much more advanced research skills which I will apply to future writing. The Shakespeare Institute Library and the FindIt service are excellent assets that I have tried to take full advantage of.

What has surprised you most about being a student at the University of Birmingham?

The University’s willingness to welcome an older student like myself. The programme has been a challenge but I feel all the stronger for it.

What have you enjoyed most about living and studying in Stratford-upon-Avon?

I love living in Stratford! I walk past incredible history every day and, for a student of Shakespeare, the whole place is an endless resource. I have also enjoyed various community groups like Shakespeare for Everyone at the Stratford Library. And having access to many talented people at the RSC has been a huge boost to all of us in the programme, allowing us to see the workings of a professional theatre of that incredible calibre from the inside and getting to pick their brains. I’ve also been to every show in the season since I’ve been here. Such fun!