Rugby student takes centre stage at Shakespearean ‘monologue slam’ - The Rugby Observer

Rugby student takes centre stage at Shakespearean ‘monologue slam’

Rugby Editorial 23rd Aug, 2022   0

THE SPOTLIGHT was on a Rugby performing arts student when she starred at the Birmingham Hippodrome as part of a Shakespearean ‘monologue slam’ organised by a prominent national theatre company.

Kelise Foster, who is currently studying a degree in Performing Arts at Rugby College, came through an open audition process to star in MonologueSlam UK.

The show was set up to showcase talent in the industry and is supported by the Mawa Theatre Company – the UK’s first all-Black, all female Shakespeare Company representing women of the African diaspora.

It addresses how Black and Black Mixed-Race Women are represented in classical text and explores how Shakespeare translates to Black audiences, producing content that focuses on themes within his works that correlate with the Black community.




Kelise, 19, performed the Ophelia monologue from Hamlet to an audience at the Hippodrome, with the performance soundtracked with a live DJ and the monologue slam judged by a panel of industry experts.

She was one of 20 performers showcasing classic monologues on the evening.


Kelise said: “I have only recently starting acting and have historically been a dancer on stage. I’m developing a passion for acting and filming, so this was an incredible opportunity for me.

“My tutor contacted me and let me know about the open audition, so we put together a tape and submitted it.

“It was strange to walk into such a big theatre and then see the audience, but everyone was really warm and inviting.

“It was an amazing experience and it’s something I’ll remember for a long time. I had a chance to learn from the incredible performers around me, many of whom had much more experience.

“My confidence as an actor is continuing to grow and I think the course at Rugby College has played a huge part in that. After this experience, I’m definitely going to look to take more auditions and test myself further.”

Liam Clarke, performing arts lecturer at Rugby College, said: “Kelise used the time in the first year of her degree to seize opportunities to help her develop her skills and grow as a performer.

“Her commitment to her craft – which included joining the graduating students to play Ronnie Spector in their show, Be My Baby – demonstrated a strong work ethic and it was this desire for and openness to a challenge that inspired me to encourage her to submit an audition video.

“As expected, she jumped right in and accepted the challenge.”

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