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29th May, 2022

Rugby student gives poetry performance of a lifetime at 10 Downing Street

A CULTURED secondary school student from Rugby gave the performance of a lifetime when she has the chance to recite a poem at 10 Downing Street.

Rugby High School student Elise Scotney, Key Stage 4 Champion in the national Poetry By Heart competition, performed DH Lawrence’s Poem Peach at the Prime Minster’s home in celebration of National Poetry Day.

Year 12 student Elise recited the poem alongside other Poetry By Heart competition finalists in front of Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi and British poet Lemn Sissay.

The event took place in the Pillared Room at Downing Street – an ornate space housing original paintings and a golden ceiling – preceded by a visit to Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey, where the finalists explored the plaques and monuments commemorating some of the world’s favourite writers.

Elise said: “The whole experience was remarkably surreal. I’m so appreciative of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to enter such a culturally significant building.

“I’m also very grateful for the time Nadhim Zahawi took to make the afternoon so memorable. The conversation we were able to have about my performance is something I’ll cherish forever. It was certainly a day I’ll never forget.”

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