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Tue 26 Apr 2016

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales heard all about our creative work at Shakespeare Live! on Saturday.

Andy Dawson, The Marlowe’s Head of Creative Projects, met HRH at the star-studded show at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) home in Stratford-upon-Avon. The event was held to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

This work includes our flourishing partnership with the RSC, which last week saw members of The Canterbury Players and children from King Ethelbert School, Birchington, join the professional cast for A Midsummer Night’s Dream - the RSC’s Play For A Nation. It also includes the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network, which works with schools across east Kent to encourage a love of Shakespeare among young people.

The Canterbury Players won public and critical praise for their portrayal of the Rude Mechanicals. The group’s Director, Sally Elkerton, said Play For A Nation had been a “fabulous” project to take part in, adding: “The Players - Sarah Gooch, Lisa Nightingale, Hannah Newell, Sid Moon, James Newberry, Adam Summer and myself - have been so lucky and gained so much.

“It clearly highlighted the power that theatre, and Shakespeare in particular, has to enrich, and even change, lives in so many ways. It truly was A Play For The Nation, both on the stage and way beyond, and it will leave a legacy that I feel all of those involved have a duty to promote: I certainly intend to.”

It’s not the end of the story for the Canterbury Players: they will appear in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford-upon-Avon for three performance in July.

Shakespeare Live!, hosted by David Tennant and featuring a stellar line up (Judi Dench, Rufus Wainwright, Ian McKellen, Joseph Fiennes, Meera Syal etc) was in front of an invited audience, which included HRH (who is President of the RSC) and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, as well as RSC supporters, partner schools and theatres, residents and the public through a series of ballots for free tickets. It was screened live on television and in cinemas world-wide.

At The Marlowe Theatre on Saturday, cast and audience members joined in the celebrations.



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