“All the world’s a stage...” as Shakespeare Schools Festival returns to Sheffield

Each year, the Shakespeare Schools Festival introduces the works of the literary master to children across the world.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 11:11 am
Shakespeare Schools Festival comes to Sheffield

This winter, over 70 pupils from three Sheffield schools will take part in the world’s largest youth drama festival, with performances at The Merlin Theatre in Nether Edge.

Gleadless Primary School, Sheffield Park Academy, and Seven Hills School will join forces on November 14 for a series of unique abridged Shakespeare productions.

Helen Fielding is the teacher leading the cast at Seven Hills School. She said: "This is the fourth year Seven Hills School has taken part in Shakespeare Schools Festival. The students are still as excited as they were for the first performance.

Shakespeare Schools Festival comes to Sheffield

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“As soon as I send out the letters asking who would like to be involved, I am inundated with questions about when the rehearsals are going to start. It is fantastic to see students who, when they start their festival journey, are quiet and withdrawn, blossom with confidence and self-esteem.

“The students become such a supportive group who look out for each other in both in and outside of rehearsal. It’s inspiring to see and hear students practising parts of the play at break and lunchtime, and teaching their friends about Shakespeare.

“We can't wait for our big performance!"

Over 20,000 pupils from more than 750 primary, secondary, and special schools across the UK will take part in the festival next month, which aims to provide children with the skills they need to succeed.The Festival is the flagship project of award-winning charity Shakespeare Schools Foundation. In 2018, 98 per cent of teachers said that their students were more confident as a result of the festival, and 97 per cent said students were able to work more effectively as a team.

Shakespeare Schools Festival comes to Sheffield

SSF’s chief executive Ruth Brock said: “Performing Shakespeare on a professional stage opens doors to the future for children across the UK. With Shakespeare Schools Foundation, children do better in class and make new friends. Through a unique creative experience, they grow in confidence, resilience and empathy - they gain the skills they and our society needs for the future.”