Talented young actors joined together to tell the stories of Women in Cornwall at this year’s Cornwall Secondary Drama showcase held at AMATA Falmouth University.

The aim of the annual event, organised by Hall For Cornwall’s Arts Development team, is to celebrate the inspirational role of drama performance work in Cornish schools.

This year nine schools took part in the showcase event, with each asked to perform a 10 minute devised piece using the theme of Women In Cornwall as their starting point. Also taking part were a group of senior members of Hall For Cornwall’s Youth Theatre.

“We know that the stories of women throughout history are under-represented in their telling,” said Helen Tiplady, HFC’s Head of Arts Development.

“We wanted to do something about this and asked schools to devise a piece of work which explored and presented the story of a woman in Cornwall.

“Schools were told their stories could be fact or fiction, historical or contemporary, famous, infamous or unknown stories of women from their own communities.”

Schools taking part on the first evening included Brannel School, whose comic piece Makin’ Waves, directed by Miss R Gomes and devised and performed by Year 10 Drama students, gave a voice to the brave mermaids of Cornwall.

Bodmin College performed Fishing, a piece written by Year 13 student Ellie Fullwood who was inspired by working with Cornish author, dramatist and dreamer Anna Maria Murphy on her Kneehigh Rambles project. Ellie also performed the piece with fellow student Matt McGuinness.

Anna Maria Murphy’s Kneehigh Rambles project was also the inspiration for the performance from the senior members of Hall For Cornwall’s Youth Theatre group.

Launceston College’s Year 10 drama students chose to feature female pirates in their piece. Women Can Be Pirates told the fictional story of the infamous Lady Killigrew and the actions she had to take to survive in a male dominated world.

Year 8 and 9 Drama students from Hayle Academy performed The Story of Mary Bryant, a Cornish woman who was convicted for robbery and sentenced to transportation to Australia.

The piece, directed by Mrs C Rule, with sound and lighting by Year 9 student Peter Taylor, told the true story of how Mary married fellow convict William Bryant and had two children before escaping the penal colony and returning to her family in Cornwall.