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;

Orchestra of the Swan nominated for community project fund

The Orchestra of the Swan (OOTS) has made it to the final nominations for Big Lottery and ITV’s People’s Millions – in which the public help to decide which local community projects receive up to £50,000 worth of lottery funding.

OOTS, which performs in Birmingham, Bedford, Shipston, Pershore and Stratford-upon-Avon specialises in working with children and young people with learning and physical disabilities. The project which they are hoping to fund is Antony and Cleopatra – The Musical!: ‘60 minutes of spectacle and madcap humour’, helping children develop self-confidence, new skills and independence through creating a high quality piece of work with professional musicians and singers. The piece was specially written for pupils at Brays and Welcombe Hills Special Schools. A year of workshops will lead to a final performance in 2015.

Voting for Antony and Cleopatra – The Musical! Takes place on 26 November, and OOTS will be appearing on Central TV to talk about the project. The telephone number will be published in the Daily Mirror on the day. A date for the diaries of teachers, parents and supporters in the Midlands and elsewhere.

Tim Crouch to direct RSC young people’s King Lear

Paul Copley, most recognisable recently for his portrayal of Mason in Downton Abbey, is to make his Royal Shakespeare Company debut this autumn/winter to take the title role in Tim Crouch’s new 75 minute stripped down version of King Lear. Touring schools and theatres from 11 September to 1 December 2012, the production will visit Southampton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Truro, Hull, York, Birmingham and The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford upon Avon, as well as making a brief visit to the states to play in Ohio and New York.

In keeping with previous RSC Young Persons’ Shakespeare (YPS) productions, this version of Lear aims to be accessible to younger audiences. A royal family gathers for Christmas and the father broadcasts his seasonal message. He’s giving up work and dividing his kingdom. With this misjudged act, the natural order is turned upside down and the scene is set for a story of family break-up, homelessness and heartbreak.

Tim Crouch said: ‘With the RSC’s Young People’s Shakespeare, the audience is the focus; they guide my hand with the edit and our work in rehearsal. It’s a privilege for me to repay their influence with one of the greatest plays ever written.’

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