Schools in Northern Ireland are being offered a unique opportunity to see a world-class Shakespeare production live-streamed into their classrooms, the Lyric has announced.
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is streaming Henry IV Part 1 into classrooms direct, from Stratford-Upon-Avon, followed by a live discussion with Alex Hassell (who plays Prince Hal) and the Assistant Director Owen Horsley.
Live-streaming of Shakespeare from Stratford in local cinemas has been incredibly popular and it is hoped this project will emulate this success for schools.
The streaming into schools across Northern Ireland will take place on 6 June from 9am.
Ahead of the production and to help prepare teachers and pupils, the Lyric is proud to host Rachel Gartside, leading Practitioner with RSC Education, to deliver a FREE workshop for teachers of Shakespeare. This workshop provides an inspiring professional development opportunity aimed at teachers of Key Stage 2, 3 and 4. This is the first time the RSC Education department has worked with schools in Northern Ireland and is a result of a new partnership with the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.
One Belfast teacher Anne Bailie recommended the workshop. She said: “I spent last Saturday at the Lyric Theatre, watching in wonder as Michael Corbidge, the internationally renowned voice coach with the Royal Shakespeare Company, empower a group of nervous teenagers to perform Shakespeare. Michael used a series of simple techniques to engage and enthuse every person in the room.”
She added: “I have never enjoyed – or learned so much from – a course in my life. It was an incredible privilege to learn from the very voice coach who was then heading back to Stratford. I think the new, closer links between the Lyric and the RSC will prove amazingly beneficial for all of us who are attempting to teach Shakespeare to our Juniors, GCSE and A Level classes. The next RSC training day will be on Thursday 22nd May. My advice? Book a place while you can. You certainly won't regret it.”
The Lyric’s Creative Learning Co-ordinator Philip Crawford urged schools to seize this rare opportunity.
“Teachers frequently suggest they would welcome the chance for students to see high quality productions of Shakespeare,” he said. “What could be better than watching the Royal Shakespeare Company in action, in your classroom, with no prohibitive transport costs. The Lyric is thrilled to be able to respond to the needs of teachers and students by facilitating this educational first in Northern Ireland.”
The scheme has also had the backing of the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland, whose Registrar, Dr Carmel Gallagher, described it as “a coup” for schools.
“The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) is delighted to inform teachers of this innovative model for continuing professional development,” she said. “It is a coup to bring the leading authority on Shakespeare to Belfast to support teachers in inspiring a new generation of children’s appreciation of Shakespeare.”
Note from RSC:
Everyone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from actors to technicians, milliners to musicians, plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. Our work begins its life at our Stratford workshops, rehearsal rooms and theatres and we share it with audiences across the world through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So, wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work that began life in Shakespeare’s home town. Shakespeare has been performed and celebrated in Stratford for centuries and the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers since the Company was founded. We pioneer contemporary approaches to Shakespeare’s plays, as well as staging the work of other writers and artists.