Students joining hands

As part of our collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, University of Birmingham Drama and English undergraduate students recently took part in an exciting three-day practical workshop with RSC practitioners, exploring the processes of adapting and performing Shakespeare for younger and new audiences, aiming to break down barriers to Shakespeare.

The practical workshop allowed students to use Shakespeare’s scripts to explore the physicality of performing Shakespeare, as well speaking and hearing the language as audiences would have during their first performances. The idea being that the texts are living, breathing scripts to be performed rather than studied. 



Students working in pairs at the workshop
RSC practitioners and our students talk about the benefits of these workshops

If that wasn’t interesting enough, the texts used throughout the workshop were from plays the RSC are considering performing next year. So, not only were our students developing their skills from top practitioners in the field, including theatre director Justine Themen, but they were also supporting the research and development of the RSC's First Encounters with Shakespeare tour 2025, which is designed to be an exciting and accessible ‘First Encounter’ with Shakespeare plays. Children from the University of Birmingham School were invited on the first day so the undergraduate students could directly engage with the relevant audience.

Our students commented on how fun and useful they felt the workshop was, as it allowed them to approach Shakespeare more imaginatively and think about the texts in a more physical manner, all ideas which they can now apply to their future studies.