Dream in the desert by David Gallichan

Posted to General with 4 Comments on 11.06.12 by Sarah Ellis

The American International School in Abu Dhabi (AISA).  How I ended up here in the desert at the age of 56 is a story in itself but, hey, where better to sit out a recession than the world’s richest city. And,just like in the  2 schools where I taught in England, it was only a matter of time before I started producing Shakespeare again. So, here goes – ‘The Dream in the Desert’ or ‘Very Tragical Mirth” to be performed not by an Athenian eunuch to the harp, but by AISA’s remarkable Middle School Grades 6,7 and especially, Grade 8! And in this school of 77 different nationalities, it’s no surprise that I have a cast from 5 continents!(Beat that for multi-culturalism,you trendy London boroughs!) Continue Reading

Emma Armstrong shares her project Lighting Up Shakespeare

Posted to General with 0 Comments on 08.06.12 by Sarah Ellis

Lighting up Shakespeare combines Jacobean history (the period when Shakespeare’s plays were written and first performed) with the latest LED technology to authentically and safely create a unique audience experience. The project came from my own interest as a lighting designer; I wondered how it might have looked and how lighting could alter the dynamics of a theatre.

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Megan Beech – one of the Poetry Society’s 2012 SLAMbassador winners shares how Shakespeare inspires her

Posted to General with 1 Comment on 01.06.12 by Sarah Ellis

Earlier this year Megan Beech took one of the eight winner slots of SLAMbassadors UK. The winners were decided by a panel of high profile judges, including alternative hip hop star Dizraeli, after twelve months of furious talent scouting across the UK. The Poetry Society’s spoken word championship for 12-18 year olds has been running for a decade. That’s ten years of exhilarating live events, showcases, and exciting professional development opportunities for contestants. More information available from the SLAMbassadors blog.

The Poetry Society is committed to supporting young people and educators through a range of initiatives. Why not take a look at our Poetryclass lesson plans for teachers? If you are an emerging poet, avid reader, enthusiastic performer, or just starting out in poetry, give the Young Poets Network a try. Features cover everything from organising a poetry event to keeping a notebook, with advice from Jo Shapcott, Benjamin Zephaniah, Matthew Sweeney and many others.


Keeping an Eye on Shakespeare by David Hopes

Posted to General with 0 Comments on 30.05.12 by Sarah Ellis

‘Eye Shakespeare’ is a new smartphone application (or app) for visitors to Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon, which has been designed to encourage users to see the town through the eyes of famous guides, who use the treasures of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and new digital technology, to re-present 400 years of history. Continue Reading

Interpreting Shakespeare: Is it endless? by Sophie-Olivia Abell

Posted to General with 2 Comments on 29.05.12 by Sarah Ellis

“Nobody will ever repeat what someone else has done.” – Judi Dench.

Well then, that’s quite a thought isn’t it? Is there actually an end to the number of ways in which we can interpret our Bard’s work today? I think it’s certainly a topic up for discussion. I’ll attempt to write this next phrase without sounding clichéd, but: In a world (Ah, slightly cliché sounding.), with such a variation of societies, norms, values, rules and art forms; surely there can’t be a limit. Continue Reading

Why All The Web’s A Stage by Tom Chatfield

Posted to General with 1 Comment on 28.05.12 by Sarah Ellis

In his 1939 poem “In Memory of WB Yeats”, WH Auden described the strange immortality of literary legacy: “The death of the poet was kept from his poems. / But for him it was his last afternoon as himself… he became his admirers.”

Admirers die just like poets, of course, and most authors can hope for only a brief literary afterlife. A few, however, become something else: a permanent part of culture and language. The mightiest of all such figures is William Shakespeare, who since his death at the age of 52 in April 1616 has become the closest thing the English language has to a presiding deity.

The World Shakespeare Festival is – appropriately enough – the greatest celebration yet of “the world’s playwright”. And alongside its readings, performances, commissioned art and gatherings, an intriguing digital counterpoint to events is taking place via My Shakespeare – an attempt at “measuring Shakespeare’s digital heartbeat” some four centuries after his actual one stopped. Continue Reading

After-Shakespeare: a new approach by Frank Bramwell from In A Moment

Posted to General with 0 Comments on 18.05.12 by Sarah Ellis

In A Moment Theatre

It’s not been easy trying to follow in the steps of this most incredible genius of words, yet the journey we started 10 years ago has been exhilarating, to say the least.  Whilst there are many companies throughout the World regularly presenting Shakespeare’s plays in very different ways, the approach we have taken revolves around providing answers to this contention: Continue Reading

Producer Lucy Collingwood shares her experiences on BBC Radio’s My Own Shakespeare

Posted to General with 0 Comments on 15.05.12 by Sarah Ellis

BBC My Shakespeare

I’m part of a small team at BBC Radio Drama who have produced a series called My Own Shakespeare which is being scattered across the BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC 4 Extra schedules for the next couple of weeks. The idea for the series is a simple one. We asked a wide variety of public figures ‘Which piece of Shakespeare they’d save from a burning building ?’ We recorded their answers and paired them with performances of their chosen pieces by actors. The end result is a series of short programmes( each is about two and a half minutes) which will also be podcast. Continue Reading

Sen-sational Shakespeare by Phil Lowe

Posted to General with 5 Comments on 10.05.12 by Sarah Ellis

Sen-sational Shakespeare

I’m generally an easy-going sort of person but had someone told me  20 years ago I’d be doing a stage-swordfighting workshop with young autistic, celebral palsy and Downs actors I’d have told them to hie them somewhere they could get stuffed.  Then again, I didn’t really understand then how pointless such labels are, that all they do is present odds that young people resolutely defy.  Teacher training and mainstream education does little to dispel such nonsense. Continue Reading

Is Shakespeare home? Kaja Polachowska shares her thoughts

Posted to General with 0 Comments on 10.05.12 by Sarah Ellis


(the following post is in English and Polish)

I’ve been told Shakespeare’s come home. He’s back in England. The World Shakespeare Festival is the biggest celebration of the Bard ever. But even though it is so huge, I don’t really think Shakespeare’s staying in England.

I’ve been observing Shakespeare’s pulse in Tricity (a town in Poland) for years. It’s not even that I’ve always loved him as much as I do now, not really; it’s just that Shakespeare is here every single day. So I’ve been watching how he’s changing Gdansk, and at some point I thought it might be an adventure to take Shakespeare’s path through Gdansk. And it really is an adventure, quite an exciting one! You might think, “But hey, he’s dead”. Is he really? I mean he surely is in the physiological way, but he himself said that his lines are eternal. And as long as we remember the lines, as long as they live – in us, he’s alive, too. It’s us who keep him alive. Continue Reading