DUDLEY Castle will provide a unique backdrop for a 50-strong cast from a Halesowen school to take centre stage in a performance of Shakespeare’s comedy classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The young thespians from Leasowes High School have even taken lessons from the Royal Shakespeare Company in their bid to do justice to the Bard’s theatrical masterpiece.

Rehearsals, which began last September, have included workshops with the world-famous Stratford-based company and school residentials.

Curriculum manager for the arts department Helen Lowe, who believes Saturday’s performance will be the school’s best ever, said pupils had shown “complete dedication and commitment”.

She added: “Students are extremely excited about the show and, as a school, we are extremely proud of what they have accomplished.”

The cast includes pupils from all year groups and staff have rehearsed dance routines and songs with children at nearby primary schools Olive Hill and Howley Grange.

Leasowes principal Neil Shaw said he was “very excited” about the prospect of his students presenting the play in such a “glorious” setting.

He added: “Working with our local junior schools and the Royal Shakespeare Company on this project has been an amazing experience. The ambition and drive shown by all involved has been inspiring."

The audience, who should take their own seating or picnic blankets, will be able to arrive from 5.15pm to enjoy activities including face painting, stilt walking, apple bobbing and music.

There will also be a barbecue and a bar will be open throughout the performance which starts at 6pm.

Tickets, priced £10 and £5 for children, are on sale from the school on 01384 816285.