In pictures: Youngsters take part in Shakespeare workshops

‘Is this a cupcake I see before me?’ was a new take on one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines when schoolchildren tackled the bard’s works this week.

More than 300 children from 12 schools took part in a workshop at Norden Farm, running from Tuesday and finishing yesterday (Thursday).

Macbeth meets Bake Off, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream were some of the performances staged by the children.

The annual Shakespeare As You Like It event is run by Furze Platt-based Troublemaker Theatre Company and sees each school perform a Shakespeare-inspired production at the arts centre in Altwood Road.

Performances, which each last about 15 minutes, can be a straight extract from one of Shakespeare’s plays or a creative interpretation.

Dave Farey, Troublemaker’s artistic director, said the project came about as a way of ‘bringing the plays to life’.

He said: “When children get to secondary school they are forced to study Shakespeare, this project is an pre-emptive strike to introduce them to Shakespeare.

“Reading Shakespeare is incomplete without seeing it be performed. I always say if you were trying to get me into a band, you wouldn’t give me sheet music to read. You would play the album or go see the band. Shakespeare is incomplete without seeing it performed.

“This year it’s been very good, one group performed Macbeth meets Bake Off, and they had Macbake – and instead of a dagger they had a cupcake and said ‘is this a cupcake I see before me?’”

The event is supported by the Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust.

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