Batman or Shakespeare? Our Bradford Shakespeare Ambassador, Ellie, gives an update on how the ambassadors in her school have been sharing Shakespeare.
In this academic year so far, our RSC ambassadors have been engaged in several projects, hoping to instil a love of Shakespeare in many different ways. From workshops to activities, we have worked to improve the accessibility of Shakespeare’s work. We have been learning to think critically about certain aspects of Shakespeare's works, like negative racial stereotypes and attitudes in the Shakespeare and Race programme, and experiencing the entertaining side of Shakespeare through acting and other activities. Overall, by doing these things, we hope more people can find joy and pleasure in Shakespeare’s work.
Our RSC ambassador programme is an integral part of our school and the English department. To plant the love of Shakespeare that we have into potential new students and their parents, we had a Shakespeare themed room at our recent open day. A variety of activities were on offer – from Shakespearean insults to Batman-or-Shakespeare quote challenges. These were a great success and were very popular with both parents and students alike. We felt that it helped to promote the entertaining nature of Shakespeare’s work, as more than simply plays to study, but vibrant, interesting plays that transcend time to still capture imagination today.
Our school are taking part in the RSC Shakespeare and Race programme, that seeks to educate students on how race is represented in Shakespeare’s plays and how we can challenge the negative racial stereotypes and attitudes within his work.
Students from all year groups have been coming together weekly to meet with members of the RSC to engage in conversations about how race is presented in Shakespeare’s work and how we can combat the racism present in his work.
Through a wide variety of extracts from Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titus Andronicus and The Merchant of Venice, to name a few, we have explored how we can adapt Shakespeare’s work to be more inclusive, accessible and less prejudiced. As a group we have discussed censorship, editing and intentions as means of how we can still perform and enjoy Shakespeare, while being less prejudiced and offensive. Overall, this has been a huge success, with students learning so much, advancing their ideas, whilst retaining a love of Shakespeare.