20th Aug, 2019

Imaginative youngsters transport themselves into the world of Shakespeare

IMAGINATIVE youngsters have transported themselves into the world of Shakespeare’s works.

Schoolchildren from Stratford produced artwork into Creative Will – a competition organised by Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall and author James Hartley.

The children placed themselves in the scenes of plays from A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Macbeth.

Oban Balchin from Alveston Primary School was declared the winner for his Julius Caesar artwork, while schoolmate Joe Chandler was runner-up with his work inspired by Hamlet, and third place went to Sophie Mansell from St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, who placed herself in the storm scene from The Tempest.

As the winner Oban will feature as a character in James’ next novel Cold Fire. Inspired by the plot of Romeo and Juliet, the story will take young readers on a Shakespearean journey with a twist.

Oban and his classmates will also be joining James in a creative writing session at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in the autumn.

Oban said: “I was so excited and happy to hear that I had won. I thought I was dreaming for a few seconds! I thought I was no good at art but I guess I proved myself wrong. I was nervous at first but then I started to enjoy taking part. I liked drawing the plinth and the statue the best. I was proud of how my finished picture looked and when other children said it looked good too.”

All three finalists will receive a signed copy of James’ next novel and family tickets to visit Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.

James said, “I was swept away by the entries to Creative Will, which revealed great story telling and incredible imagination. Our aim was to embrace the creative spirit of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom to inspire young minds, and it’s been a delight to see that it has been them that has inspired us through their skillful interpretation of Shakespeare’s work.

“I am really looking forward to working with the students in the creative writing classes, helping them to develop their ideas and encouraging their inventive thinking.”

Schoolroom spokesperson Sarah Jervis Hill praised the writer’s ability to embrace the legacy of Shakespeare’s work and said he knew how to illuminate young minds.

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