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Shakespeare Schools Festival, the world’s largest youth drama project, is coming to the Isle of Wight this Autumn and 3 local schools are set to take part.

Students from around 900 schools across the UK are getting involved with the festival, which is run by award-winning cultural education charity Shakespeare Schools Foundation (SSF).

Young people are given the challenge of performing abridged Shakespeare plays on professional stages. Up to 30,000 students will perform in 1 of 128 professional theatres across the country between October and December.

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On the Isle of Wight, The Island Free School, Medina College and Binstead Primary School will come together to perform at Medina Theatre on 8th November.

The Festival process develops vital life skills in the young people involved. In 2017, 99% of teachers agreed that their students’ confidence increased and 96% of teachers said that their students were more resilient. 86% of teachers reported improved academic attainment.

Actor and comedian Hugh Dennis, a patron of SSF, says he is amazed by the impact of the Festival:

“The enjoyment the children who take part show and the sense of confidence they gained from both performing and working with the words is palpable, and will surely help them both now and in later life.”

Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s Chief Executive Ruth Brock says:

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“Many of the young people performing – like many of us at school – have initially found Shakespeare boring or difficult or thought it’s not for them. But working with us, they’ve learnt to tell these 400 year old stories to new audiences, discovered beautiful language and discovered that the themes of heartbreak and friendship, jealousy and corruption, war and love are as relevant now as they ever were.

“Shakespeare, in short, helps us to live life better and teaches us all more about what it means to be human. In giving children and audiences new experiences, we know that Shakespeare has the power to transform lives.”

Tickets to November’s performance can be bought at https://www.medinatheatre.co.uk/article/shakespeares-schools-festival.

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