Shakespeare's Globe Theatre brings Othello to life for schoolchildren

This is the ninth year in succession that every state secondary school in London and Birmingham has been offered the opportunity of taking up free tickets

Click to follow
The Independent Online

For the past few weeks, thousands of students have been flocking to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to watch a version of Othello, created specially for schools in conjunction with Deutsche Bank. The cast are in First World War battle uniforms and the theatre-in-the-round setting has seen them almost dive-bombing members of the audience.

This is the ninth year in succession that every state secondary school in London and Birmingham has been offered the opportunity of taking up free tickets.

Director Bill Buckhurst said of the decision to set the play in a First World War setting: "Othello is full of real-life issues: friendship, envy, domestic violence, race, rumour and prejudice.

"It's a world on the brink of war. With the First World War centenary commemorations in the media and all around us, the parallels are clear."

I'll leave the final word to a conversation I overheard as I was leaving the theatre: "It's so much better than just reading it in class. You really understand it."

Teachers, you certainly have something to live up to in the classroom, once your charges have seen a production like this.

Meanwhile, an interesting insight into global education from my visit to Finland. When Michael Gove was education secretary, he made great play of how some nations such as Singapore and China (Shanghai) were streets ahead of us when measured by international test results for maths and reading.

Finland, the highest-scoring Western nation, hardly got a mention. It has, after all, a far more liberal than traditional education system.

Interesting to note, then, who has just visited the country's Playful Learning Centre – which is collaborating with games companies to provide a stimulating preschool environment: a group of professors from Shanghai.

Comments