CROWDS packed out a school hall in York to enjoy a gripping performance of The Tempest by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The public performance by the prestigious theatre company attracted a near sell-out audience at York High School yesterday evening.

The production was also performed earlier in the day just for pupils at the school.

It is part of RSC’s First Encounters series, which are abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays designed to engage audiences aged eight and above.

Fiona Clayton, programme developer for RSC Education, said: "The RSC is delighted to bring our First Encounters production to York High.

"The school has been a lead school in partnership with the RSC and York Theatre Royal for five years and has shown incredible commitment to the teaching, learning and performance of Shakespeare.

"With this solid foundation, it is a pleasure to bring a professional RSC production into the heart of the school's community.”

There is still a chance for people to see the production in York at the Theatre Royal. It will be performed today at 1pm and 7.30pm and tomorrow at 10.30am and 7.30pm.