The Duchess of Cornwall appeared on BBC R4 Women’s Hour
Camilla commented on the perception that Shakespeare is boring, but that acting ‘helps them [children] to understand Shakespeare’, because through the festival, they recreate some of Shakespeare’s finest dramas.
The Duchess admits as a child she struggled to understand the great literary pieces, but visiting Stratford-upon-Avon and the Royal Shakespeare Company to watch the plays enabled her to understand. The 66-year old revealed her children, Tom and Laura, didn’t find Shakespeare accessible in school either, but they too were helped by the RSC and their productions.
The Shakespeare Schools Festival is the largest youth drama festival in the UK, helping children and teens from all backgrounds to access Shakespeare and to perform. It is a popular festival in which 1000+ schools took part last year, when the Duchess gave her views.
The SSF sees four schools perform four different 30-minute long Shakespeare plays in their local theatre in autumn. Many celebrities are patrons for the SSF including Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, Kevin Spacey Sir Tom Stoppard and Matthew Rhys, making the festival a highly supported organisation in the acting and drama world.
The Duchess of Cornwall is a fan of the dramatic arts, as seen in her charities and patronages which include the Carmarthen Youth Opera, London Chamber Orchestra, St Johns, Smith Square, the New Queen’s Hall Orchestra, and the Theatre Royal Bath. She is often seen accompanying The Prince of Wales to events at such locations.
The show is also available on BBC iPlayer for those who missed it.