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Royal Shakespeare Company Playmaking Festival 2023


Sacred Heart is one of 26 schools nationwide to be selected as a lead school as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s National Associate Schools Programme. The programme is the RSC’s long-term nationwide partnership with over 400 schools and 10 regional theatres which aims to immerse teachers and students in innovative approaches to Shakespeare’s texts.


As an RSC Lead Associate School, Sacred Heart demonstrates a deep commitment to sharing Shakespeare’s work with children of all ages and abilities using RSC approaches. To do this, staff work intensively alongside practitioners from the RSC and Northern Stage to learn how RSC actors approach Shakespeare in the professional rehearsal room.


This year as part of a national celebration of young people’s work, schools within the Newcastle network performed in a Playmaking Festival at Northern Stage. The event was the biggest yet, with seven schools and 124 students ranging from Year 3 to Year 9 taking part in recreating 2 of Shakespeare’s iconic plays – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Macbeth’.

Paul Ainsworth, RSC Associate and leader of the unique Next Generation talent programme commented on students’ ‘wonderful story telling,’ ‘impressive level of technique’ and ‘ability to bring Shakespeare's words to life.’ He hopes to arrange a Next Generation workshop at our school next year to recruit talented individuals to the next generation of RSC actors, directors, stage managers and theatre specialists.

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