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Creative Celebrations

Children across the nation join a joyful celebration of Shakespeare’s worlds and characters

joyful dancers at SW launch smaller size

Shakespeare Week 2023 was celebrated in primary schools across the country from 20-26 March. This year’s theme of creativity gave teachers, families and children the scope to explore Shakespeare’s works, life and times in a variety of cross-curricular and imaginative ways.

Central to the theme was the exploration of Shakespeare’s creativity with language and children enjoyed becoming Will’s Word Warriors by completing delightful booklets created in partnership with leading linguists Professor David Crystal and Ben Crystal and children’s author and illustrator Marcia Williams.

Children were also invited to take part in a creative bookmaking competition to design their own Shakespeare themed books. The competition, entitled ‘Write till your ink be dry’ has been supported and endorsed by leading children’s authors including Michael Rosen and Joseph Coelho. There are many book-making suggestions on the Shakespeare Week website as well as a fascinating online exhibition that showcases rare books from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s collections, including Shakespeare’s First Folio. Children can learn about the importance of The First Folio in this timely exhibition that also celebrates the 400th anniversary of the folio’s publication.

From pop-ups to concertina books and whole class anthologies, children have been sending us their responses. The competition closes on 28 April and we’re looking forward to reading and admiring all the children’s work. It’s going to be a tricky job to choose the winners!

As well as a fabulous range of resources and online broadcasts Shakespeare Week 2023 saw celebrations at events across the country including a fabulous day of performances at Nottingham University’s Lakeside Arts theatre. Over one hundred children danced, sang and performed scenes inspired by Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in an event to mark the start of Shakespeare Week.

Shakespeare Week concluded with a special day of activity for over 500 local school children who enjoyed free activities and entrance to a town-wide selection of venues in partnership with the Trust, including The RSC, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom, the Guild Chapel, Orchestra of the Swan, Holy Trinity Church, the Town Hall and Shakespeare’s Birthplace and New Place. The final weekend of Shakespeare Week was also celebrated in style with a fun-filled weekend for all the family including Shakespeare-inspired Lego workshops, dance and sword-fighting workshops and performances outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street.

We’re looking ahead to marking Shakespeare Week’s tenth birthday in 2024 when a decade of creative Shakespeare themed fun for primary schools will be celebrated in style!