The annual education project is set to go ahead online, with abridged versions of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth made available to schools digitally.

Photo Credit: The Other Richard

The Shakespeare Up Close project offers secondary school students the opportunity to see Shakespeare’s plays performed to allow them to explore his work. Due to the ongoing restrictions, the productions will be available to view online, with all rehearsals and filming will be conducted in a Covid secure environment in line with current government guidelines.

Marking the first Orange Tree Theatre productions in almost a year, Bec Martin directs Zena Carswell, Cat Kolubayev, Enoch Lwanga, Jordan Turner and Jazmine Wilkinson in both productions.

Meanwhile, each production will feature  design by Jessica Staton, lighting design by Chris McDonnell, sound design by Nicola Chang and movement by Laura Dredger.

Talking about the news Bec Martin, Education & Participation Director said: “I am so thrilled to be directing the Orange Tree’s first production in nearly a year. And I am even more thrilled that this production is for young people. Participation and Engagement is becoming even more vital as we reckon with a world without live theatre. The events of the last year have disproportionally affected our young people and it feels significant that while we can’t offer this production in person as we would normally, we are able to provide an accessible and engaging production in a digital medium.”

Paul Miller, Artistic Director commented: “Education and Participation has long been at the centre of the OT’s work, and not being able to connect with the more than 10,000 young people that we regularly engage with has been agonising. So I am delighted that Bec Martin’s brilliantly imaginative new versions of two plays at the heart of the curriculum will be made available to schools, to GCSE students and more widely too. It’s the start of the OT’s return to making work, and it couldn’t be more fitting that this is where we begin: I can’t wait.”

Both productions will be available online through  for schools to watch by purchasing for a one-off fee from late March. A public performance will be made available at a later date.