Debating Shakespeare

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I have been having fun this week short listing entries for our A level competition “The Great Shakespeare Debate”. This is an annual competition which we run in partnership with the English Speaking Union and which is generously sponsored by Warwick University’s CAPITAL centre.  The final will take place in March but the first process is to select the schools who will take place in the final. We ask schools to submit a video entry showcasing their debating team of 3 pupils, exploring the question of Shakespeare’s relevance in today’s world.

The schools choose to go about this in very different ways, some schools simply film 3 pupils engaged in an intelligent debate over the question. Lots of entries like this made the final selection and it is always interesting to watch young people articulating Shakespeare’s relevance in their own words. Lots of the entries however go for a more unusual approach, from mock news broadcasts exploring parallels between Shakespeare and modern politics to mock film pitches exploring the timeless nature of his stories. But I thought I would share with you the entry which in my opinion topped the lot, amusing, clever, creative and fun.

Great Shakespeare Debate

Video By Dominic Kimberlin (writer/director of video, debater), Tom Lodge (debater), Nathan Hawthorne (debater) from Ermysted’s Grammar School, Skipton.

If you are local and would like to come and see the final of the Great Shakespeare Debate it takes place at 5.15 for 5.30 here at the Shakespeare centre in Stratford Upon Avon on Wednesday 9th March 2011. If you would like to attend please let us know by calling Katie on 01789 201805

If you are not local, I am hoping that the event will be documented before hand and live during the event on a dedicated Tumblr which you can follow at

Next week is also the week of our AskShakespeare twitter project; we have many international panellists lined up to answer your shakespeare questions on 2nd February 2011. Follow the link at the top of the page to find out more and to join in.

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Author:Liz Dollimore

Someone who loves listening to people talk about Shakespeare Liz tweets at @shakespeareBT

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