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3rd Jul, 2022

Pioneering theatre project aims to bring Shakespeare closer to schools

A COVID-inspired ‘Bard in the Yard’ project aims to bring schools closer to Shakespeare.

The project, pioneered by theatre company Will & Co and funded by consultancy firm Williams Nicolson, delivers interactive theatre and workshops to underfunded schools across England.

The audience can help poor Will Shakespeare, stuck for inspiration in plague quarantine, write either ‘King Leonardo’ or ‘The Scottish Play’.

The team behind Bard in the Yard wanted to reconnect with an audience and continue to bring the joy of live performance while waiting for physical theatres to reopen, and the project is now touring the country.

Victoria Gartner, Artistic Director of Will & Co, explains: “At Will & Co, we believe that Shakespeare should be accessible to all. That is why we created Bard in the Yard: a pandemic-born and critically-acclaimed project that brings Shakespeare straight to your garden, park, local pub or school. The past few years have been tough on all of us, but particularly on children’s mental health and education — and funding cuts mean that it will soon become even harder for the next generation to access Shakespeare in a playful way. So, this season, we are delighted to announce that Williams Nicolson will help us take the Bard to school yards across the country. We are immensely grateful for their support and cannot wait for more pupils to help Will Shakespeare with writer’s block!”

Project ‘godmother’ Dame Helen Mirren said of the scheme: “Bard in the Yard is a simply wonderful project which brings Shakespeare to everyone, delivering humanity, connection and inspiration just when we need it the most.

“If you’re looking for an unforgettable theatrical experience, I highly recommend it.”

Applications are now open for schools to apply for the Williams Nicolson Award which funds the project.

Visit www.willandco.co.uk for details.

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