Broadcasting live Shakespeare plays into schools

11th December 2015

In November, schools across the UK tuned into a special screening of Shakespeare’s Henry V play, which was filmed live in Stratford-upon-Avon, thanks to Virgin Media.

Virgin Media is helping to broadcast three Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) plays into schools and cinemas across the country – making brilliant content accessible to children nationwide. The aim of the broadcasts is to transform young people's experiences of Shakespeare’s work by bringing his plays to life in an exciting way.

Henry V is the first of three Schools Broadcasts taking place in this academic year.  Othello will be screened in March 2016, followed by The Merchant of Venice in April 2016.

Our support for the RSC Schools’ Broadcast Series is an important part of our digital for good strategy so I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Ravensbourne, a university college for emerging talent in digital media, film making and platform design, to watch the Henry V live stream to hundreds of schools.

We were allowed into the studio, run by Ravensbourne students supported by the RSC’s Education Department, to watch Blue Peter presenter, Andy Akinwolere, deliver the live introduction to the play.  

It was also great to see the interactive platform, created by Ravensbourne students, from which schools watched the performance and could ask questions. Following the play, this platform allowed for a live Q & A session from the Barbican, where the actors answered the pupil's questions.  

Excitingly, this great digital experience was made possible by our own network. Ravensbourne College are connected to the Janet London Regional Network using two separate high capacity connections. These connections follow fully diverse fibre optic paths that provide a robust, high speed service that are capable of offering a scalable bandwidth upgrade path to throughput of 10Gbit, 20Gbit or potentially 40Gbit.

If you would like to hear what participating Head teachers have to say about the broadcasts, please check out these blogs: The World's Largest Shakespeare classroom Part 1 and Part 2.

To date, over 900 schools have taken part in the RSC’s Schools’ Broadcasts, with over 200 joining for Henry V. Any school can register to take part just visit

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