Shakespeare Schools Festival is coming to Dunstable

Shakespeare Schools Festival, the world's largest youth drama festival, is coming to The Grove Theatre, in Dunstable, next month.

Over 100 children from six school groups will be taking part at The Grove Theatre on Monday, November 11, and Tuesday, November 12.

Shakespeare Schools Festival. Photo by Splaat Media

Shakespeare Schools Festival. Photo by Splaat Media

Five schools from Luton will be involved in the festival, Ferrars Junior, St Joseph's Catholic Primary, Sacred Heart Primary, Denbigh Primary, and Lea Manor High School, pupils from Heathlands School, in St Albans, will all be taking part in the festival.

The children will perform abridged Shakespeare plays on local professional theatre stages, over 750 schools from across the UK will take part in the Festival, including primary, secondary and special schools, and Pupil Referral Units.

The Festival is the flagship project of the Shakespeare Schools Foundation, the charity is an award-winning cultural education charity that gives young people across the UK the confidence and skills they need to succeed in life.

Former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson said: “I think Shakespeare Schools Foundation does a marvellous job introducing our greatest playwright's work to children.

"If they act in a Shakespeare play they discover the joy and excitement and magic in his stories, and find confidence and creativity within themselves. The audience is in for a treat!”

Following last year’s Festival, a young performer said: “I thought I’d be so frightened I’d run off the stage. The thought of standing up in front of people doesn’t scare me now.”

In 2018, 98% of teachers said that their students were more confident as a result of the Festival, and 97% said students were able to work more effectively as a team.

Shakespeare Schools Foundation’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.”