Shakespeare Week is 14-20 March in 2016
Thousands of schools, families and organisations take part in Shakespeare Week every year. In 2016 Shakespeare Week celebrates 400 years of Shakespeare’s creative legacy and it looks like it’ll be busier than ever.
Shakespeare Week celebrates the work of our most famous playwright, with a focus on engaging our youngest scholars. For many primary school children it will be their first taste of his work. The aim is to make an impression on their hearts and minds – sparking a lifelong interest in Shakespeare.
Clearly they can read his work, research the historical context, watch a film or even experience a live performance. But one of the best ways to build real confidence with Shakespeare is to perform one of his plays. We find that this is how children really start to understand the characters and engage with the plot.
Here’s one school’s impression of our Shakespeare workshops – in the children’s own words and with a lovely illustration:
“We adored the entire day when we studied and performed schemes from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. During the workshop we enjoyed acting and becoming different characters, especially the hilarious Bottom who made us laugh hysterically! When we joined as a whole school at the end of the day it was fabulous to see each class’s work and to perform a whole Shakespeare play.”
Our West End actors are natural proponents of bringing Shakespeare to life through performance. All of them have studied and performed Shakespeare at some point in their career and consider it a real privilege to introduce the next generation to The Bard’s work.
Our Shakespeare Today workshops for schools have been helping children to learn and perform a Shakespeare play in a day for the past three years. In that time we’ve had the privilege of doing 184 school visits, focussed on Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Twelfth Night. This means that we’ve shared our love of Shakespeare with about 40,000 children in the comfort of their own school environment. It’s a real honour.