On Friday 4 November, more than eighty of North Oxfordshire’s Year Sevens and their teachers had the unique opportunity of attending a workshop run by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the beautiful setting of Broughton Castle, near Banbury. The event was organised by Victoria Prentis MP to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death.

The students spent two hours looking at one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet, under the expert tuition of some of the RSC’s most celebrated actors. Vigorous warm up exercises were followed by an in-depth analysis of some of the key moments from the text, and the children were able to explore the actors’ methods and Shakespeare’s writing. The Great Hall in Broughton Castle helped the play come to life and gave the workshop an unforgettable atmosphere.

Speaking after the event, Victoria Prentis MP said: “It was wonderful to see North Oxfordshire’s schoolchildren really immersing themselves in the world of Shakespeare. I am hugely grateful to the Fiennes family and all the team at Broughton for letting us use their castle. 

“The RSC were world class and had all the pupils concentrating and enjoying Shakespeare.  I really hope that this will become an annual event. I know that it was an experience that all the children, and teachers, will remember for a long time to come. I’m also confident that the children will go back to school so enthused by Shakespeare that they in turn will encourage their friends to try the plays.”

The Broughton Castle Shakespeare Workshop was kindly supported by the Cherwell District Council and opened by Victoria Prentis MP and Chairman of the Council, Cllr Chris Heath.


North Oxfordshire pupils with actors from the RSC in the Great Hall of Broughton Castle.


Victoria Prentis MP and Chairman of Cherwell District Council, Cllr Chris Heath, who opened the event.