Wilmcote Children Enjoy Shakespeare Week

Wilmcote children blaze the trail for first ever Shakespeare Week at Shakespeare’s Birthplace

18 March 2014

Pupils from Wilmcote Primary School took centre stage at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, where they were the first to take part in a special session to launchShakespeare Week(17-23 March),  a new nationwide campaign organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which aims to give every child in the UK  a great first encounter with Shakespeare.  The Year Six children deciphered clues hidden in the house where William Shakespeare was born to find fragments of a lost play and then script and perform it for Queen Elizabeth I. Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi joined the children in their hunt for the lost play and donned a Tudor cape to take part in the performance. 

Jacqueline Green, Head of Learning and Participation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said, “What a fantastic start to Shakespeare Week, the children really enjoyed learning more about Shakespeare in a fun and exciting way, and that is what this all about.  Nadhim Zahawi has supported this new campaign from the outset, and we were delighted that he played such an enthusiastic part with the children of Wilmcote Primary School in raising the curtain for Shakespeare Week, which is set to involve half a million children its first year.”

Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi, said, “I’m very proud to be a supporter of Shakespeare Week and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s work to bring Shakespeare to as wide an audience as possible. The students, staff and actors did a fantastic job in launching Shakespeare Week and I look forward to seeing children from across the country take part in this wonderful initiative.”

More than 2,600 primary schools have already registered to join Shakespeare Week alongside more than 150 organisations, to bring Shakespeare’s cultural legacy to life for schools and families across the country. Every child taking part through their school will receive a Passport to Shakespeare – an ongoing attainment record that rewards holders with incentives and discounts to attend productions, exhibitions and events run by participating organisations, thus encouraging an evolving relationship with Shakespeare and cultural heritage.

The Trust is running 22 free sessions with schools in the region for Shakespeare Week. A number of family activities will also be taking place at the Shakespeare Family Homes and Gardens which includes following in the footsteps of the world’s greatest playwright and inventing funny Shakespearian words and phrases to learning more about the gruesome and gory diseases suffered by the people of Shakespeare’s day. Families can also recreate the bank of flowers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and check out a giant Wallbook of Shakespeare (What on Earth? Books) co-authored by Nick Walton of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, with an illustrated timeline of the plays and key events that took place around the world during Shakespeare’s lifetime. 

Find out more here.


Notes to editors:

Press release date: 18 March 2014.

For more information please contactPress and Public Affairs Officer Nurinder Mantell on 01789 207132/07824 137638 or email Nurinder.Mantell@shakespeare.org.uk

Pic cap 1: School children from Wilmcote Primary School and Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi take part in the first Shakespeare Week event.

Pic cap 2: Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi joins Queen Elizabeth I for the first Shakespeare Week event at Shakespeare’s Birthplace. 

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world. The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no regulardirectgovernment funding or public subsidy; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends.