We know the bard can seem a little daunting, and the language can make it difficult for kids to get their teeth into. The Royal Shakespeare Company have, as ever, come to the rescue and are launching a brand new initiative to help get your little ones in to Shakespeare.
RSC Alumni Tamsin Greig and Noma Dumezweni took part in a video today launching Homework Help. The actors sent a message out to young people, offering them the chance to ask any questions they have about studying Shakespeare to RSC actors and alumni.
Actors and artists including David Tennant, Paapa Essiedu, David Bradley, Niamh Cusack and Charlotte Arrowsmith.
To ask a question, young people simply need to email firstname.lastname@example.org, or share their questions on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RSCHomeworkHelp by Sunday 10 May.
A selection of videoed and written answers from actors will be shared on the RSC’s website from Monday 11 May, which will coincide with the first BBC Bitesize Teaching Shakespeare week, which will look at Macbeth and Romeo And Juliet.
To mark the start of the new school term, the RSC will also host a live lesson about Macbeth on YouTube, allowing students, teachers and parents will get to go behind the scenes of the 2018 production directed by Polly Findlay, starring Chris Eccleston and Niamh Cusack.
The RSC have also launched a new series of 15-minute Activity Toolkits focused around the six RSC productions now available on BBC iPlayer as part of Culture in Quarantine, including Romeo And Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant Of Venice.
RSC Director of Education, Jacqui O’Hanlon said:
“As children and parents across the UK adjust to their new ‘virtual classrooms’, this gives us a new challenge and opportunity to extend our support and to work with artists from the RSC’s performance history. They will answer any questions young people want answered about Shakespeare and theatre generally.”
Artistic Director Gregory Doran added:
“Although the RSC is in lockdown and operating with a skeleton team, it is important that we continue to offer support to students, families and teachers across the country. Our acting companies and Associate Artists are helping us to deliver ‘Homework Help’ with a difference, serving young people in their time of need and unlocking the transformative power of Shakespeare for a generation who are living through unprecedented times.”
“To help support this work, we are asking people to consider making a donation to our home learning programme. We understand it is a difficult time for many people. However, the impact of school closures means that every gift will make a very real difference to thousands of young people. To make a gift go to rsc.org.uk/support/keepyourrschomeeducating. We also encourage you to do anything you can to support your local theatre wherever it is in the country, helping ensure it can continue to share great work with its audiences.”