Let’s make Shakespeare come alive for the next generation

Responding to a number of enquiries, I’ve been busy working on a new interactive production for younger students who are about to embark on their Shakespeare studies. Working title: Introducing… Mr William Shakespeare

The concept is straightforward – make Shakespeare come alive through an exciting, fun session that imparts knowledge and encourages creativity. I’m planning a production that fills up a half day, has actors playing out short scenes, is full of fun facts and has students thinking and working creatively with each other. In other words, a session that leaves students enthused about the bard and prepared to study his works.

I’d love to talk to you about this, and how bringing the production to your school might help your students get ahead of the game when it comes to working on their Shakespeare texts.

The fist draft of the content is currently with colleagues at a couple of local schools for their feedback. We will be finalising this soon and then touring the production during the summer term.

In the meantime, there’s still time to book our touring productions designed with the needs of GCSE students in mind. These are…



Feel free to call me on 01789 777612 or email: ad@fred-theatre.co.uk to discuss any aspect of Fred Theatre playing at your school.

Robert Ball
Artistic Director
Fred Theatre

PS: For more information, please visit our web site: www.fred-theatre.co.uk/schools

Major anniversaries in 2019

Hard to believe that it’s 2019 and there isn’t a child in the world who was alive in the twentieth century!

So many anniversaries this year, all of which give even more reason, if you need more reason, to take your students on a study tour.

Amsterdam will be celebrating Rembrandt, and Paris (Louvre) – Leonardo.

The centenary of the founding of the Bauhaus suggest that this is the year to visit Berlin, Weimar and Dessau.

Take a look at Art study tours to whet your appetite, then give us a call to talk through your needs.


Culture Trails

Travel House, Llwynmawr, Llangollen LL20 7BB

Tel: 01691 886161 e: art@culturetrails.co.uk

Why reading poetry on-line is not reading poetry

If we consider the works of the great poets of the language – Blake, Burns, Byron, Chaucer, Keats, Shelly, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Shakespeare etc etc – all of it is available to read on-line.

But in a sense it is also not available on-line.   By which I mean it is there, but not in a way that the student can use.

Of course, one can find a particular poem and read it on the screen.  One can also print the poem out – but interestingly very few students do this.  What they do is read on-line, and then, if asked to write a commentary or critique, they cut and paste.

None of this activity takes them anywhere near the words as the poet intended. The overall impact of the poem as a unified whole is lost, and the value of the work in our culture is reduced to the same level as the distracting Facebook message that pops up in the corner of the screen while the student is reading on-line.

There is in fact every reason to encourage students to read poetry in book form.  And of course, not just the poetry that is part of the syllabus but other poems written by those whose work is being studied.

Which is why printed editions of the works of poets are still very much required if the student is to get a serious understanding of what the poet was saying.

And thankfully the printed editions are not only still available, they are available at very modest prices, so every school can have new editions of the collected works of the greatest poets throughout the history of English literature.

Not just those poets listed above, but also Kipling, Owen, Wilde, Whitman, Yeats and many more.

Our works include reprints of the classics from as little as £2.99 each, after deduction of our 25% school discount, with no delivery charge and no minimum order.

If you would like to see our full list of poetry collections please take a look at this page from our website.

Ordering our books couldn’t be easier, as they are supplied for us by Bookpoint Ltd, where nearly all schools will have existing accounts. You can find full details on our website.

And we also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before.  To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.

What is the simplest way of ensuring that parents fully appreciate the excellence of your students’ work on stage?


While most of the energy in drama productions is taken up with rehearsals there is one factor that can hugely affect how the final work is appreciated by the audience.

And it is, unfortunately, a factor that can on occasion is overlooked because of the sheer volume of work involved in putting on a production.

This factor, quite simply, is the lighting; a factor which can totally transform any stage event from something that is rather good, into something that is extraordinarily brilliant.

However, lighting can be forgotten, it is not necessarily seen as being instrumental in enhancing the quality of the event and the enjoyment of the audience. There are, after all, enough other issues to worry about.

This is the key subject we specialise in: the installation of lighting systems into schools that will transform any production from the smallest school nativity play to the largest all-school end of year show.

But there is more for we also understand how value for money is essential. We don’t over engineer a project but we will leave room for expansion. And we’ll ensure that the end user is able to operate the system with confidence and always offer backup and support.

We stay in touch with the latest technology and we’ll do the research so you don’t have to. Plus we have our own team of installation and service technicians with a proven track record and reputation.

However perhaps the best bit is that you can also have a free no obligation site visit for schools within 60miles of our Birmingham base. And we are happy to quote for venues further afield.

You can take a look at some of our recent work here

or to start the exploration of what possibilities there are simply drop us an email with details of what you have in mind.

dgh@centraltheatresupplies.co.uk   Or you can call us on 0121 778 6400