St Albans school holds own Shakespeare Festival as part of 400th anniversary celebrations

Sandringham Students in Trestle Half Masks from a previous workshop

Sandringham Students in Trestle Half Masks from a previous workshop - Credit: Archant

All things Shakespeare come to a St Albans school when it holds a ShakesFest! to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.

Sandringham School’s Shakespeare Festival runs from next Tuesday, April 19, to Friday, April 22, and students will take part in a range of activities and experiences.

They include the transformation of the school into a Shakespearean wonderland with play quotations above doorways, Shakespearean themed food names in the canteen, teachers in period dress and 17th century themed assemblies

Key Stage 3 English students, supported by professional actors The Globe Players, will be bringing the creativity of Shakespeare to a wide range of lessons throughout the week with surprise five-minute pop-up performances

Trestle Theatre will be running mask workshops for students which will culminate with an open air performance at the end of the week

In addition there will be sonnet races in the library, Shakespeare quizzes in form time, short film showings at lunchtime and Shakespearean open air performances by students.

Richard Cooper, head of Sandringham’s English faculty which is organising the event, said, “Shakespeare has been a core part of the English and Drama curriculum for many years but in this special year we really want to make his life and works real for students across the school. We have a busy, fun and lively week planned which we hope all will enjoy.”

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ShakesFest! is only the beginning of the school’s celebrations during the 400th anniversary. Among other events that the general public are invited to attend are The Sandringham Actor’s Company taking part in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s nationwide Dream Team project, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation, in June and professional touring Shakespeare companies appearing at the SandPit Theatre during the autumn supported with workshops for students.