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English - In the spotlight

Barmy about the Bard

How do we get pupils enthusiastic about Shakespeare? Recent film adaptations have piqued young people's interest by placing the action in a modern setting. Most recently, Ralph Fiennes made his directorial debut with Coriolanus - set in Rome (but actually modern-day Serbia) and starring Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Cox.

But does modernising Shakespeare in this way work? Helen Stevens, a teacher from Guildford High School, thinks so. "Each year, pupils put on a performance of an abridged Shakespeare play, which we are teaching alongside the rehearsals," she says. "We encourage them to devise their play and interpretation. We advise they develop a modern interpretation of their play, but they have the creative input."

How you can benefit

TES has 10 DVD copies of Coriolanus (now out on Blu-ray and DVD) to give away. The first 10 correct entries will win. Just answer this question: What is the name of Ralph Fiennes' actor brother who starred in Shakespeare in Love? a) John b) Joseph or c) Julian.

Send your answer and contact details to: Cahir@dna-pr.com.

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