In the room with Giles Terera MBE

In the room with Giles Terera MBE

28 October 2021

St Helen and St Katharine is proud to support the Henley Literary Festival and huge thanks to the festival team for yet another eclectic and inspirational guest line-up. This year the school was honoured to continue its sponsorship of role models to inspire students in their own unique ways – among them was the brilliant Giles Terera.

This year the school sponsored actor, musician, and filmmaker Giles Terera MBE, best known for his work in the theatre, particularly in the original cast of the London production of Hamilton. When Hamilton opened in London, National Theatre regular Giles became a star playing the role of Aaron Burr. He won the 2018 Olivier Award for Best Actor and last year was awarded an MBE for services to theatre. With a foreword by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton and Me: An Actor’s Journal takes readers from his first audition in New York, through research and rehearsals to rave reviews. It was a rare chance to hear an actor’s insight into a remarkable show.

“Our trip to see Giles Terera at the Henley Literary Festival was such a brilliant experience. It started off with an interview with Giles talking about everything from his audition process for Hamilton to the company opening the show on the West End. His story of auditioning was particularly interesting to me as an aspiring actress because it showed me first-hand what the process of auditioning for a well-known, successful production can be like, and Giles’ tips for other young actors were hugely beneficial.

Hamilton was one of the first West End shows that I ever saw, leading me to listen rather obsessively to the cast album. Coincidentally, Giles was the actor that I saw as Aaron Burr and so this experience gave me the opportunity to tell him that he was the inspiration for me to get involved in theatre – it was a really special moment for me.

There was a Q&A at the end, which allowed us to ask any burning questions that we had, followed by a book signing and photographs.

It was such a great experience and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and chat to Giles about his work and his phenomenal success in Hamilton.”

Emma (Lower Sixth)

St Helen and St Katharine was also honoured to sponsor Stuart Lawrence, speaking about his brother Stephen’s tragic murder in 1993. Since then, Stuart and his family have strived to improve society and in this event students heard Stuart (an educator and motivational speaker) discussing his book for young people: Silence is Not An Option: You Can Impact the World for Change, with acclaimed film director Paul Greengrass.

Forensic science has become one of the great modern fascinations of television and cinema. Angela Gallop has been at the forefront for over 45 years, working on hundreds of cases from the seemingly unsolvable to the outright bizarre. In How to Solve a Crime, the professor takes readers behind the police tape and into the heart of the crime scene, including identifying the man who stabbed George Harrison at his Henley home, Friar Park. Angela revealed all to friend of St Helen and St Katharine, most decorated female Olympian, and PhD in Criminology, Dame Katherine Grainger.

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