We’re marking Shakespeare’s birthday (23 April) in the seaside town of Skegness, performing Romeo and Juliet in a local school and the town’s Embassy Theatre.

Our performances in Skegness are part of our First Encounters with Shakespeare 12-week tour to schools and theatres around England. It's one of the many ways we work with young people and teachers to boost children’s academic, social and emotional development.

Skegness school children will be joined by Geoff Barton, former headteacher, trade union leader and chair of the Oracy Commission, who has joined the RSC Board.

First Encounters_ Romeo and Juliet_ 2024_2024_Photo by Joe Bailey _c_ RSC_367409
First Encounters with Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
Photo by Joe Bailey © RSC Browse and license our images

The performances are part of a new long-term partnership between the RSC, the area’s local leisure and culture trust, Magna Vitae and schools from the Greenwood Academies Trust. Our partnerships with schools and theatres across England use the combination of Shakespeare’s plays and rehearsal room practices to raise aspirations and contribute to better life outcomes for children and young people. 

James Brindle, Executive Director of Magna Vitae

"This partnership will offer new perspectives on what young people here could only dream to achieve. It will be seismic social and educational change with the skills associated with the creative industries aligned to this coast for the first time."

Time to act

The impact of our learning work is shown through new research, Time To Act, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. This groundbreaking study gives evidence that teaching Shakespeare using RSC approaches improves children’s literacy, as well as fostering key life and work skills such as communication, problem-solving and critical thinking.

As a result of these research findings, we are working with Arts & Culture Finance, which supports arts and cultural organisations that benefit lives and communities, to pilot a new approach to funding arts education, with investors making payments as targets showing the impact of the work on children's lives are met.


Geoff Barton, former teacher and education leader

"I am delighted to be joining the RSC Board. Arts learning has a significant impact on young people’s language development and confidence, and the RSC’s work in this field is pioneering. I couldn’t be prouder to step into this role as critical friend and as advocate and ambassador for their amazing work in bringing Shakespeare to more young people and their communities in times where his stories feel ever more urgent and relevant."

Geoff Barton
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