English - In the spotlight

9th March 2012 at 00:00

Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

After the success of another annual run of free Shakespeare shows for London teenagers (this year it was A Midsummer Night's Dream), the Globe Theatre Company is leaving home to tour the Middle East over the next two weeks, visiting theatres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Enthuse students about the Bard with its interactive website, www.playingshakespeare.org

What is it?

Focusing on A Midsummer Night's Dream (but with archives of previous performances), the site is divided into three areas:

- Characters: social-networking profiles, including a "comments" feed where students can add their opinion of the confused lovers; audio clips from performers; and "agony aunt" letters. Characters' profile walls include useful quotes for essays.

- Week by week: the journey from rehearsal to performance, with photos and production blogs. Students can try the crew's real briefs, creating costumes, designing sets or making posters.

- Language: students can search for examples of literary terms such as "enjambment" or "metaphor" and translate tricky words.

What else?

Explore the work of the Globe with a visit to the museum or organise an in-school workshop. Compare different stage productions of the play with a resource from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Or get students shouting Shakespearean insults at each other with Lola Bee's language lesson.

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