Free tickets to all London and Birmingham secondary schools for 2016’s Playing Shakespeare

"Playing Shakespear with Deutsche Bank", PSWDB, at the Globe Theatre. School children get the chance to see a Shakepear play "The Merchant of Venice" performed at the Globe. Date: 12 March 2014 Photograph by Amit Lennon

Last year’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production, The Merchant of Venice (Credit: Amit Lennon)

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that 2016’s Playing Shakespeare schools’ production will be Twelfth Night, running from 25 February–18 March 2016. Secondary state schools in London and Birmingham are eligible for an unlimited number of free tickets for weekday performances at 2pm during the period 25 February–10 March, and for the 7pm performance on 1 March.

State schools outside the London and Birmingham areas, as well as independent schools and colleges, can book reduced rate tickets ranging from £5 to £15 for weekday performances at 2pm during the period 11–18 March.

Supporting the production will be free schools’ workshops, launching in December, CPD sessions for teachers, classroom resources, and a dedicated Twelfth Night website which will launch in January next year.

London, 26th February 2015: Othello at Shakespeare’s Globe, directed by Bill Buckhurst, as part of Globe Education’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank 2015

Othello was 2015’s Playing Shakespeare production (Credit: Cesare DeGiglio)

The play, specially designed for GCSE and A-level students, will fit the National Curriculum specification for KS3 (where students are required to study two of Shakespeare’s plays) and KS4 (where students are assessed on one of the Bard’s works).

The Playing Shakespeare initiative will celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2016. Through Globe Education’s partnership with Deutsche Bank, Playing Shakespeare has presented over 117,000 free tickets to schools, with over 70% of schools taking part from every London borough.

Booking for Playing Shakespeare’s production Twelfth Night opens in September;

Green room: Will the reforms to GCSE and A-level drama benefit students?

The Department for Education announced in February the subject contents for GCSE, AS and A-level drama to be taught from 2016, so in our Summer 2 issue of Teaching Drama, out now, we’re asking our panellists:


What is your view? Vote in our poll and comment below. Read the views of our panellists in Summer 2 2014-15, where the issue also includes a ‘Curriculum focus’ column, outlining a basic summary of the guidelines on which exam boards are currently finalising their new specifications.

Gove announces next set of education reforms

Education secretary Michael Gove has announced the latest changes to take place among England’s education system, with the current A-level qualification set to transform over the coming years.

The department for education has stressed that, ‘A-levels will not be replaced under any circumstances.’ The reforms would see the A-level qualification incorporate more characteristics of the international baccalaureate (IB) – seeing it redeveloped as the advanced baccalaureate (ABacc).

As with the changes recently announced for KS4, A levels would see modular exams abolished. However, it is expected that this would happen over a longer time period than has been set out for the changes to the KS4 examinations.

Under the new system, A-level students will be encouraged to select a diverse range of subjects – those focusing on arts subjects will be expected to choose a science subject or maths to study. Students with a primary interest in scientific topics will also be expected to choose an arts subject to study at KS5.

The changes, put forward by Michael Gove, are in response to criticisms from universities who have previously voiced concerns that some students start university unprepared in both academic knowledge and technique. Students applying to Russell Group universities, such as the University of Warwick and King’s College London, will have to write a 5,000 word dissertation as part of their application.

A spokesperson for Universities UK said in response to the news: ‘We would welcome efforts to improve skills in extended writing, critical thinking and research. In terms of subject choices, however, it is important to remember that there is not a magic formula to gain entry to specific university courses.’