Schools and Workshops

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As a leader in site-specific, outdoor theatre, Iris’s summer shows have long been a popular fixture for schools and young people. Each summer we produce a Shakespeare in June and July and a classic family show in August, and we welcome hundreds of students to attend them each year. Some schools also opt to take part in an additional workshop alongside their visit, where actors and theatre professionals dive deeper into the text in a curriculum-sympathetic way.

Our approach is to use practical exploration to help pupils gain a greater understanding of these plays in performance, in turn developing a greater understanding of the plays as texts. Summer workshops take place in the grounds of the Actors’ Church, in the same setting as our performances, and it’s possible to focus on specific parts of the text according to pupils’ studies.

Outside of the summer season, we also provide specific course-tailored workshops for schools throughout the year, which can be devised and booked on request.

To be added to our schools’ circular emails when we announce our next show and workshop programmes, or to arrange a workshop or schools booking, please contact

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Some examples of workshops we have provided in the past for schools include:

♦   Shakespeare’s Dream Workshop – Key Stage 2 +

A two hour hands on experience exploring the characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream through performance, storytelling and games.

♦   Exploring Shakespeare Workshop – Key Stage 3 +

A two hour session exploring character and plot, our actors will help your pupils bring parts of the story to vivid physical life. Based on our current Shakespeare production.

♦   Shakespeare Understood Workshop – Key Stage 4 +

Four actors will help your pupils deepen their understanding of the language and meaning of these plays through an interactive exploration of key scenes. Based on either Romeo & Juliet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

♦   Advanced Shakespeare for Drama A Level

A two hour workshop, where, using the companies own approaches, students rehearse scenes from the play with three actors and one of our resident directors.

♦   Advanced Shakespeare for English A Level

A two hour workshop where a detailed exploration of the language, rhythm and rhyme of Shakespeare, with three actors and our artistic director.

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Testimonials from previous participants

“The children, parents and staff absolutely loved the production and were completely ‘blown away’ by the standard of the performance. Any company that can make children as young as 8 years old enthusiastic about Richard III has got to be worth praising! We really were extremely impressed and I received some wonderful comments from both parents and children alike. Thank you to you all.”

Henrietta Syers – Richard III – Teacher – St Paul’s Cathedral School

“All 28 students absolutely adored the performance and I think the site-specific promenade really made it memorable for them. They were buzzing all the way home ! Moving on to the workshop – the actors were great, really full of energy and managed to pitch it at the right level to the students, who again loved every minute of it and didn’t want to leave. A credit to you all, and thank you once again for providing such a great experience.”  

As You Like It – Paul Crisp – London City Academy

“We all really enjoyed it: perfect for the kids as you really kept their interest by using the different staging areas.  They were so close to the actors that they were fascinated.  The students we took were aged 12-13 from an inner city school and it really appealed to them.”

Romeo & Juliet – Ms. Chandler – The Raines Foundation School