Sally Scott (Smith) Head Girl 1998-9
From Burford to Broadway
What are the chances that, when joining the cast of King Charles III in the West End last year, I would be joined by another ex-pupil, Barnaby Kay? A strange twist of fate. And yet I remember returning to school for a visit, years after I had left, and finding Mr & Mrs Norridge in the upstairs History rooms. We chatted and I told them I had become an actor. They asked me if I knew Barney, and though I didn’t, I remembered the name. Establishing our unlikely connection during rehearsals, we discussed Burford sport socks and stories of Mr Weir’s disciplinary measures in the Green Room between scenes.
I studied English at University followed by an MA in Seventeenth Century Art and now I am here in New York, doing King Charles III on Broadway, after it was dubbed best play at last year’s Olivier Awards. Being an actor can be a trial but is also an enormous adventure and ultimately a privilege. I love the people, I love the feeling of community but more importantly the sense of tolerance and liberal values. Though it’s easy to forget when you are uncertainly waiting for your next role, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Georgina Purdy – 2003-2010
More people have travelled to space or climbed Everest then have rowed the Atlantic, and Georgina Purdy – Gee – is part of the youngest female team of four to ever attempt the crossing. Gee came into school recently to talk to some of the students as part of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. She spoke about taking on challenges, never being put off – especially if it’s because you’re a girl – and filled the students with enthusiasm and awe.
Gee left Burford in 2011 and after a gap year went to Manchester to read History and Archaeology. It was during her last year at University that she joined a rowing club – the result of which has been to find a shared enthusiasm with other girls to take on the Atlantic challenge and raise funds for PLAN International ‘Because I am a girl’ campaign. The campaign tackles the rights of girls threatened by poverty, gender inequality and violence.
Gee and her fellow team members are one of only two female crews taking on the Talisker Challenge this year. At school we shall be tracking her progress and are looking forward to her returning to Burford in the spring to tell us all about her adventure.
See how Gee and the team are doing at: