Students from Ravensbourne College have teamed up with the Royal Shakespeare Company to deliver free schools' broadcasts of RSC productions including King Lear, Othello and The Tempest.
King Lear was broadcast directly into classrooms throughout the UK on February 9.
Using the film of the production that has been shown in cinemas, Ravensbourne students split the recording into three parts. Students then interceded with live studio question and answer sessions hosted with actors and experts in the Ravensbourne TV studio. The Q&A for King Lear was hosted by Inside Out presenter, Ayo Akinwolere and answered by RSC Director, Anna Girvan.
Students at Ravensbourne will also help facilitate broadcasts of RSC productions into a small number of schools in the USA and Asia throughout March and April.
The collaboration was made possible by Janet, a high-speed network for the UK research and education community provided by Jisc. Janet provided the resource that enabled 3,000 terminals to log on to the broadcast simultaneously via a special website hosted by the RSC.
James Light, Ravensbourne student and director of the King Lear screening said: "It's great to be able to work with an external client for a large scale production. It feels very much like a real industry role so this sort of exposure prepares us for when we graduate and enter the working world."
Fiona Ingram, head of education programmes at the Royal Shakespeare Company, commented: "We are extremely pleased with the standard Ravensbourne students work to and are delighted they are able to assist us in the broadcast of Shakespeare's plays to thousands of children all over the UK. Their assistance has enabled children everywhere – regardless of where they live or what their background is – to engage with and enjoy Shakespeare and we look forward to continuing our work with Ravensbourne in the future."