Year 11 students were left speechless as their English Literature class was interrupted by a Shakespearean performance like no other from rapper Professor Green and actor and RSC Governor, Meera Syal.
The GCSE students were performing a scene from Much Ado About Nothing when Meera Syal and Professor Green burst into the classroom and put a new twist on the famous dialogue between Benedick and Beatrice - the play’s sparring lovers. The performance was to launch the new RE:Shakespeare app from Samsung and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Meera Syal made her Shakespearean debut as Beatrice in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing in 2012. Combining her acting prowess and Professor Green’s lyrical genius, the unlikely duo took over the class to show the relevance of Shakespeare today and launch the new RE:Shakespeare app from Samsung and the RSC, which brings Shakespeare to life for students.
Professor Green said: “I left school when I was 13, so my experience of Shakespeare was limited, but since starting this project, I’ve really taken to it. This has really taken me out of my comfort zone – we are all limited by our confidence and I was nervous in front of the students today. I hope that when they see me performing Shakespeare, they will be inspired to get up and do the same themselves.”
Meera Syal said: “There is a reason that Shakespeare’s work has lasted so long - he is the original popular soap writer, rap lyricist, rom com writer. You can even see a Shakespearean influence in Professor Green’s work. Once the students experience the RE:Shakespeare app and see Professor Green performing Much Ado About Nothing, their eyes will be opened to a completely different way of learning.”
Nicola Marsh, Assistant Principal, Uxbridge High School, said: “My year 11 class were so shocked to see Professor Green and Meera Syal burst into their English lesson. To them, they are celebrities - people they read about - so to watch them both perform Shakespeare in their very own classroom was an incredible experience!“
The RE:Shakespeare app, developed by Samsung and the Royal Shakespeare Company, brings Shakespeare to life for students, inspiring a whole new generation to play, practice and perform the works of Shakespeare. With 64 million students studying Shakespeare’s plays globally, the aim of the app is to help students re-engage with, re-evaluate and re-interpret the Shakespeare texts they are reading, studying and performing.