The Brilliant Bard festival brings together key organisations from across the region to discuss and debate Shakespeare’s work, including Liverpool John Moores University, Edge Hill University, the University of Liverpool, Shakespeare North and the Everyman & Playhouse.
Representatives from each organisation will showcase the Bard’s work in an exciting and interesting way, giving people to opportunity to further explore plays by the nation’s greatest ever writer.
A range of classes and sessions will be available to book throughout the week, all based at the Everyman theatre. These include workshops for young children, talks with leading academics and specially tailored sessions for school groups.
The festival opens with a Speaking Shakespeare session on Saturday 2 March encouraging young people to debunk the language of Shakespeare’s plays with Everyman & Playhouse associate director Nick Bagnall.
For people wanting to learn more about Shakespeare’s work and its relationship the silver screen, a Shakespeare in Film workshop will take place on 5 March. Discussing four key plays, attendees will hear the thoughts of leading academics on a number film interpretations. There will also be a screening of Frank Cotterell-Boyce’s short film A Winter’s Tale.
On Thursday 7 March, auteur Ken McMullen will explore the philosophy surrounding Hamlet presenting new work from his ongoing feature film The Philosopher’s Hamlet.
A keynote symposium headlines the festival on Friday 8 March featuring some of the region’s most prominent Shakespeare academics looking at four main topics. Curated by Esme Miskimmin from the University of Liverpool, Here is My Space includes a keynote speech from Shakespeare North’s leading academic Elspeth Graham and an introduction from Ian Tabbron, chief executive of Shakespeare North.
Closing the week on Saturday 9 March is an exciting workshop for children aged 5+ with the aim of making Shakespeare fun for young children. The Magic of Storytelling will explore the world of Macbeth and the weird and wonderful stories that lie within. Through props, costumes and support from theatre practitioners, children will transform into lords, ladies, witches and warriors to learn more about the Scottish play.
Sessions to help young people studying Shakespeare are also planned throughout the week, including a storytelling session for primary schools (4 March) and revision sessions for GCSE and A-level students (6 March). An opportunity for further learning for primary teachers will take place on Monday 4 March.
Allan Williams, learning manager at Everyman & Playhouse, said: “I am so pleased that we are offering a wide variety of activities and events that focus on the amazing body of work produced by Shakespeare and that will appeal to young and old alike. Our Theatre is committed to producing plays that challenge and delight our audiences and now we are looking to engage with our audiences in sharing and discovering more about his work”.
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