Shrivenham's Nicky Cooper did more than brush up his Shakespeare when he got some tips from professional actors at the famous Globe Theatre.

Nicky and fellow students Sam Robertson and Tom Dello attended the two-week residency as part of their Performing Shakespeare Masters, that they are studying at Bath Spa University. The trio came away inspired to create their own theatre company, The Scullions, and tomorrow they are presenting their first production, Hal and Falstaff, in Swindon.

Nicky said: "The Globe was an unforgettable experience. Standing on the same stage as so many of my heroes was just mind-blowing. It really does feel a magical theatre.''

The actors chose Hal and Falstaff as it is a highly political play, still relevant for today, with topics of duty, war and honour much to the fore. Nicky takes on the role of Hal, Sam is Falstaff and Tom doubles as director and Hostess Quickly.

All three students aim to make the theatre their career, Nicky aims to become a professional actor, Sam wants to become a voice coach and Tom a director.

"Our aim for the company is to make Shakespeare accessible to more people but also to capture the real excitement and drama that fills these plays. It can so often get lost,'' said Nicky.

The Scullions have already toured Bath with the play and its first performance was assessed for their university course, but now the actors are keen to promote and expand their company. They are already planning their next production which will be a new take on Henry V.

Hal and Falstaff will be coming to Swindon's newest performing arts venue, Shoebox Theatre, based in Theatre Square tomorrow at 8pm.

Nicky said: "I live in Shrivenham and knowing that Shoebox needs support it seemed the perfect opportunity to bring our show to Swindon where I grew up.''

Hal and Falstaff is based on the unlikely relationship between young Hal, the heir to the English throne at a time when rebellion is rife, and his best friend Sir John Falstaff. Sir John is 'a pocket-picking, sack-drinking, misuser of the truth' and the Prince of Wales now has to leave his tavern days behind, and shape up to become the king of England.

Tickets are available from - Flicky Harrison