AN English student is putting down her text books and picking up props for a Shakespeare marathon.
Stephanie Collins, 19, of Exton Close, Stamford, will act in all 39 of Shakespeare’s plays and recite some of his poems in a four-day non-stop Shakespeare festival at the University of Leicester on June 18 to 21.
She will take to the stage with other members of the university’s drama society to raise money for the Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal at the university.
The first year English student is one of 15 actors who have signed up to perform in all of the plays and it will not be an easy task.
Stephanie said: “I have got the parts of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew and Lady Anne in Richard III so far.
“Some of parts have not been cast yet.
“We will be allowed a script with us but I am going to learn at least one of my roles off by heart.”
Stephanie was a pupil at Casterton Business and Enterprise College and studied A-levels at New College Stamford where she developed her interest in Shakespeare’s plays.
She said: “As I am studying English it is kind of relative to my degree. I am just doing it for fun though.”
All of the plays will be performed outside at all hours of the day and night which will prove to be a challenge for Stephanie and her fellow thespians.
She said: “I’m hoping they will give me parts at the beginning and end of some of the plays so that I can sleep inbetween.
“We are going to carry on regardless of the weather. I just hope I will stay awake through some of the more boring plays.”
The University of Leicester has launched a public appeal to raise the final £1m to complete and equip a new £12.6m Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Glenfield Hospital.
Some of the plays have been sponsored and the rest of the money will be raised through sponsorship.
Stephanie said: “It is the first time I have done something like this but it won’t be the last.
“I would definitely consider doing it again.”
To sponsor Stephanie e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
* A video to go with this story, as mentioned in this week’s Mercury, will not be available due to a production problem