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Stockton schoolchildren's Shakespeare introduction

Monday, March 21, 2016

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STOCKTON primary school pupils have been given a dramatic introduction to one of Shakespeare’s most revered tragedies to give them a taste of the acclaimed author’s works.

Schoolchildren from Thornaby Church of England Primary School and Pentland Primary School took part in interactive sessions exploring Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream respectively, led by Stories Alive performer Eden Ballantyne.

Organised by Stockton Libraries, the aim of the sessions was to bring the play to life with the pupils themselves taking the role of key Macbeth characters to help them fully understand and engage with the story.

Eden performs a one-man interactive storytelling of many of the Bard’s favourite tales and has entertained pupils across the country.

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “Shakespeare is rightly regarded as one of the finest writers in the history of the English language but his work and themes can sometimes be difficult to totally grasp so these modern language interactive sessions are a great help to students who are new to his style of storytelling.

“I’m sure that all of the pupils who took part will go away with a new appreciation for Shakespeare and a fresh appetite to study the works of Shakespeare further as they continue their education.”

Eden Ballantyne said: “I love working with children to bring the stories of Shakespeare to life 400 years after he died.

“For too long people have fussed about the language of Shakespeare being fussy and pretentious – we need to look past the beautiful lyrical language and just see his plays as great stories any child can understand.”

Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration which aims to give primary school pupils a great first encounter with the works of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Week ran between Monday 14 March and Sunday 20 March - for more information visit

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