Welcome to Shakespeare Schools Festival

We are the UK's largest youth drama festival, offering students from all backgrounds the opportunity to perform Shakespeare on their local professional stage.

There's still time to join over 1,000 schools taking part this autumn, as applications for this year remain open. Our Primary Conferences that will help support productions later in the year are in full swing, and we're extremely excited about this year's festival. Over 1,000 schools up and down the UK are currently preparing for their big nights, so check out our resources to help you along the journey.

Interested in signing up? Register with us today!

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"Every child in every school ought to have the chance to experience this magical process. To bring the enchantment of Shakespeare to thousands of children - there's no more magical process in the whole of education. Long live the Shakespeare Schools Festival!"

Philip Pullman, SSF Patron

"As a teacher this has been the single greatest highlight of my career so far, mainly because I know that through SSF our pupils have had the most extraordinary experience."

Teacher, St Paul’s Primary School, Cardiff

"Anyone that says that Shakespeare is rubbish needs to see our production of Julius Caesar. Revenge, murder, jealousy and corruption. It's better than the best episode of Eastenders!"

Student, Morpeth School, London

"SSF gives young people the chance to make Shakespeare their own with all the fun of getting up and doing it rather than sitting puzzling at a desk. When young people of no matter what educational background discover that Shakespeare's words can come out of their own mouths and mean something personal to them, they gain the gift of fluency, authority, confidence and self-esteem which no one can take away from them whatever their future walk of life."

Dame Harriet Walter, SSF Patron

"I really do not mind giving up my free time on Tuesdays to do this play, because so far this has been one of the best experiences of my life."

Student, St Edward’s School, Poole

"One parent said that this had been one of the most significant experiences of her life - she would never forget it - because she saw in her son the potential that she knew was there but circumstances had stopped him from allowing it to break through. This experience allowed that young man to really shine."

Teacher, Dumfries Academy, Scotland

"I wish I had been brave enough to think I could be in a play. Had I encountered something like the Shakespeare Schools Festival, I believe my life at the age of fourteen would have bounced forward over some of the inhibitions and incomprehensions of adolescence. So it’s pleasing to know that the SSF is out there for more and more children, and catching them young. Childhood deserves such luck."

Sir Tom Stoppard, SSF Patron

"There’s no stopping me now. I’ll do anything. The whole experience just blows you away."

Student, Cooper School, Milton Keynes

"For the first time in my career I felt proud of myself. I always feel proud of my kids, but not particularly of myself."

Teacher, Sweyne Park School, Southend on Sea

"I can't run and I can't drink through a straw, but I can stand on stage and tell jokes - I can do things that other people can't do. SSF offers all young people, no matter how different their set of cans and can'ts, a wonderful opportunity to challenge themselves and discover their talents."

Francesca Martinez, SSF Patron

“Without SSF I would NEVER have tried to direct a Shakespeare, thank you for taking me out of my comfort zone but also giving me the tools and guidance for it to be a complete success! Working with SSF was an inspiring experience - simply brilliant from start to finish and I will definitely want to take part in the festival in the future!”

Teacher, Ladywellfields Prendergast College, London

“At the end, when they say ‘Hail, King of Scotland’ and there’s a blackout we’re all kneeling. I looked around and I saw 15 of my friends, all with relieved faces, we were so proud. I just knew how I felt at that moment but to see everyone feels the same added to it. You could just feel it.”

Student, Royal Liberty Boys’ School, Romford