We welcomed 380 young people from across the country to perform on our world-famous stage last week for our annual Playmaking Festival.

Pupils have worked with our team of Director Mentors, as well as practitioners from our theatre partners, to rehearse a segment from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing over the past two terms.

Last week schools came together in Stratford-upon-Avon to work with the same creative team to weave the segments together and create a unique collaborative performance.

4 children on stage in the foreground, thee children are half kneeling, 2 wearing army uniforms, one in a pin stripe suit. A boy is standing in army uniform
Young people performing on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage for this year's Playmaking Festival
Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images

The Playmaking Festival took three different forms:

  • National Playmaking: Young performers from Cornwall, Blackpool, Hull, North Staffordshire, Cumbria, County Durham and Suffolk performed their interpretations of Shakespeare’s comedy in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 12 July.
  • Local Playmaking: On 13 and 15 July, 10 schools and a college from the Stratford-upon-Avon area had their chance to perform on stage.
  • Regional Playmaking took place in regional theatres and schools across the country, brought together by a dedicated website to celebrate students’ work.

All the young people who took part in the festival are part of our Associate Schools’ Programme or our Stratford Schools’ Partnership.