Ravenscourt Baptist Church in London will be the first in the country to have a built in theatre which will allow children from local schools to enjoy productions of Shakespeare.
For the last six months the hall at the back of the church has been under construction, but it will be ready to open to the public within the next couple of months.
Minister of the church, Darren Hirst says, “I just want to use what we do to enhance people’s lives, which I think is what a church ought to be there for really. I got talking to some of the teachers from local schools and they were saying that there isn’t enough money in the budget to take the children on many trips and so we thought we would do something that relates to the school curriculum.”
As soon as the theatre is completed and actors have been auditioned, Pastor Hirst will pay to hire a number of coaches in order to ship the children to and from the schools.
“Our aim is to take a topic, like Shakespeare, which kids often find very old and boring to study, and bring it to life for them. I think if done well Shakespeare plays are the best in the world to watch and we hope to do them justice.”
Kelly Grant, whose son attends the nearby Hammersmith and Fulham Primary school said, “I think it is great what the church is doing. The children haven’t been able to go on many trips recently and so this will be a real treat for them. The fact they will be learning at the same time is also a plus.”
Ravenscourt Church will be the first church to offer Shakespearian theatre as a sideline, and who knows, if the idea is a success we might see William Shakespeare influencing many more churches up and down the country.