Rory Launches Young Person’s Surgery at Appleby Grammar School Play

Rory launched his young person’s surgery – a drop-in session for constituents under 18 – at Appleby grammar school this weekend, before attending the school production of the Wizard of Oz, and visiting the food fair in aid of the school’s trip to South Africa.

Approximately 100 students and staff were involved in this year’s production; onstage, backstage and front of house, and The Wizard of Oz follows highly successful performances of Bugsy Malone and Appleby Grammar Has the Talent Factor in previous years. Before a packed out audience,the cast delivered a two hour performance, with support from a 14 piece orchestra, that included students from all year groups.

Rory took time beforehand to meet with students at his young person’s surgery where he was able to discuss issues as wide-ranging as funding of the arts to farming, and was interested to learn what students thought of their education and their future prospects beyond secondary school. It also offered an opportunity for the local MP to discuss on-going issues of funding reform and the school’s future with the headteacher, Andrew Lund.

Rory said: “Today’s performance was a real treat, and it was great to see students from across all age groups working together to produce something that was well-choreographed and very entertaining. There were some very talented young thespians and musicians in the show, and it was perhaps not therefore a surprise that the funding of the arts was brought up in my young person’s surgery beforehand. Whilst there are obvious difficulties facing young people in this current climate, it was great to see that so many remain positive about their future. One thing I remain very keen to work closer with schools on however, is getting more students interested in tourism and guiding as a career. Tourism is obviously the most significant component of our local economy, but we are doing little I feel to encourage young Cumbrians to take an interest. It was valuable to get a sense from students therefore that this is something they would be interested in, and I will follow up with local schools to see how this could be developed further. I would like to thank Appleby Grammar School for kindly inviting me to their performance today, and I congratulate everyone involved for their hard work and the delivery of a fantastic performance of the Wizard of Oz.”

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