Larkrise to Candleford actress Matilda Ziegler leads drama class for pupils of Norwich High School

Pupils at Norwich High School for Girls got a star studded drama lesson yesterday, as Larkrise to Candleford actress Matilda Ziegler lead drama class.

Year 6 and year 7 pupils were also joined by Royal Shakespeare Company's Louis Hilyer for a session which saw the youngsters improvise various situations and even have a go at directing the actors themselves.

Ms Ziegler, who plays gossip loving Pearl Pratt in the BBC period costume drama set at the end of the 19th century, said: 'Today was just a small taster of what we do. We bring an actor's perspective to drama in schools, using our practical experience from the world of theatre. Our aim is to develop confidence – we believe there is a very definite connection between our experiences as children and how we go on to express ourselves in future life.'

'After 25 years in the acting profession, we are motivated more and more into working with young people. There are two main areas in which we work. Firstly, we feel passionately that play texts should be studied with energetic intellectual and physical vigour, and we offer the opportunity to work practically on both Shakespeare and contemporary plays.

'Secondly, we are introducing workshops specifically designed to help develop communication skills, aimed at the young. We are working with young people in both these fields, as a complement to our professional life in film, television and theatre.'

'We very much enjoyed the workshop', said director of drama at the school, Dr Charlotte Ellerby. 'We worked in particular on characters' status levels and their intentions towards other characters.'