An aspiring Macclesfield actor, Raph Sherry, has reached the finals of Poetry by Heart’s national recital competition.
The 13-year-old King’s School Year-9 pupil won both the Cheshire final and the North West regional event to reach the last 200 contestants nationwide from an original entry of many thousands.Raph Sherry
A talented young writer and performer and voracious reader, Raph, who is a born and bred Maxonian, had to remember and recite two poems, choosing The Stolen Child, by W.B. Yeats and The Humming Bird by D.H. Lawrence.
Both multi-layered in meaning, combining mysticism and folk lore with stark reality and acerbic wit, Raph’s fluent recitals revealed ‘a maturity and emotional intelligence well beyond his years.”
King’s English teacher, Hannah Skelley, who will chaperone Raph during the finals at London’s Globe Theatre on June 26, continued: “We are all incredibly proud of Raph. He is a natural performer, but this competition isn’t about dramatic hand gestures and eye-catching movement, but rather about the intelligence to internalise and truly understand the work of two great writers.”
“Raph’s use of his voice, intonation, rhythm and rhyme were all exemplary and he brought the words and thoughts of two great writers, who are no longer alive, very much into the present day.”
To qualify, Raph first had to recite the poems to camera, with formal judging in the final stages of the both the county and regional events.
In London, he will be performing to a full audience at Shakespeare’s Globe, including some of Britain’s leading writers and performers.
He said: “I don’t tend to get nervous. I think of it as excitement and actually I enjoy the whole process.”
As well as taking part in the competition Raph, with Ms. Skelley, will watch The Comedy of Errors at the Globe and participate in a number of workshops and seminars on writing and performance.
Raph cites David Tennant and Ralph Fiennes as role models: “I love both performing and writing and hope one day to make my way in both fields.”