The world’s largest youth drama festival is coming to Stevenage next week.

The town’s Gordon Craig Theatre hosts the Shakespeare Schools Festival on Monday, November 13.

Join the GCT for a series of unique Shakespeare productions staged by local schools.

The Stevenage evening is due to include A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Knebworth Primary and Nursery School, along with abridged performances of Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare Schools Foundation (SSF) is a cultural education charity, transforming lives through the unique power of Shakespeare.

In the celebratory finale of its festival journey, 30,000 young people from primary, secondary and special schools across the country will unite on their local professional theatre in thrilling performance evenings.

Pupils will have the opportunity to showcase their talents with abridged performances of thrilling Shakespeare plays.

Hugh Dennis, a patron of SSF, says he is amazed by the impact of the festival.

The Outnumbered actor and comedian said: “The enjoyment the children who take part show and the sense of confidence they gained from both performing and working with the words in palpable, and will surely help them both now and in later life.”

SSF targets students and communities who stand to benefit the most from engagement with the arts.

The unique performances build vital life skills in participants and inspire a lifelong interest in culture and the arts across the whole community.

Poppy, a festival participant, says the SSF experience helped her make friends.

She said: “Because of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, I was able to bond with lots of people and make friends with people I never thought I would.”

Shakespeare Schools Foundation chief executive Ruth Brock said: “We know that Shakespeare is difficult and off-putting for many.

“But we also know that SSF’s unique process, which culminates in the chance to perform on professional stages, has the power to change this perception and to change lives.”

Tickets for the Gordon Craig Theatre’s Shakespeare Schools Foundation night cost £9.50, and £7 concessions.

Visit the Gordon Craig Theatre’s website at to book tickets or call the box office on 01438 363200.

• Details of the schools performing at Gordon Craig Theatre can be found on SSF’s website at