Making Shakespeare child’s play

2008-05-09 00:00

Can a primary school successfully put on William Shakespeare’s plays? After all, they are over two hours long and full of obscure language that is difficult for many adults to master, let alone children. Yet King’s Prep School in Nottingham Road has put on a Shakespeare play on speech day nearly every year for the past 40 years. How has it made Shakespeare child friendly?

Second, the plays are cut back to an hour — any longer and the audience gets restless, any shorter and too much is lost. The play is performed outdoors in December and most of the audience are not fans of unadulterated Shakespeare, and do not want to watch it in the summer sun for two or three hours. The sub plots are, therefore, often discarded along with other lines that do not advance the main story.

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