The hard work of learning lines has paid off for pupils at Rowdeford School as they got the chance to perform in front of a distinguished audience in 11 Downing Street, home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

It was part of a showcase for the Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF) with three students from Rowdeford’s KS4 drama group taking part.

The special needs community school in Rowde was one of five schools chosen and gave an extract from Hamlet to an audience of potential fundraisers and supporters including of the National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner.

Headteacher Ingrid Sidmouth said: “I was absolutely thrilled that our students got picked to be part of the showcase. It was a great opportunity for them to extend and practice their drama skills."

Director Ken Kimber, who is head of drama at Rowdeford, said: “It was a wonderful experience for our pupils to take part in the event at Downing Street.

“We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience it gave some of the more able and enthusiastic pupils the chance to develop their work in greater depth.”

As part of the SSF 10 Rowdeford pupils also performed Hamlet in the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon along with other schools in front of a packed crowd last month.

The school have been taking part in SSF for the past five years, which works with more than1,000 schools and 150 professional theatres to enable young people to perform abridged Shakespeare plays.