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A can-do attitude with tins

Teaching pupils how to use a tin-opener is among the many tasks involved in taking a school play to Edinburgh, according to one veteran.

Mike Gibson, English teacher at Bishop's Stortford college, in Hertfordshire, is taking a pupil production of Richard III to the fringe festival this year.

"The biggest issue has been getting enough rehearsal time," he said. "A lot of kids were involved in exams this summer, so we had to stop rehearsals entirely. It's quite a learning load for them."

The trip makes demands on staff, too. Mr Gibson had to raise more than pound;5,000 through school events and sponsorship to fund the trip. He will take equipment in two vans while pupils take the train north.

Mr Gibson will commit four weeks of his summer to rehearsals and performances, and will have to share self-catering facilities with the 12 teenagers.

"In the past, I've had to teach them to use a tin-opener," he said. "But it's a family atmosphere. We all muck in, cooking and cleaning.

"Yes, it's a big chunk out of the holiday. But we love it, and the kids love it. It's a massive theatrical education for them."

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