Fiona Penney is a Professional freelance actor, workshop leader and director. After working for over ten years in schools around the country Fiona realized that there was also an opportunity to bring Shakespeare to children during the school holidays and so created GREAT SHAKES.

In school lessons, children may be taught about the life and times of William Shakespeare,and perhaps study one of his plays, or even watch a version on DVD but with GREAT SHAKES they get the chance to explore the actual text of the play in a completely interactive way, to discover the emotions and motivations of the characters, to explore the themes of love, jealousy, intrigue, greed, mistaken identity, feuds, ambition and Machiavellian plots. The children get the chance to act out these amazing plays, to live the life of the play rather than just being taught. Once a child has had this experience they never forget it. It gives them an enthusiasm, passion and understanding for Shakespeare which is of enormous benefit in their future education and a lasting pleasure through life.

We have now been going for over 10 years and many children have been through our doors. It is very gratifying to see children return year after year, sometimes accompanied by friends, sometimes their younger siblings. Word of mouth and great feedback has helped us go from strength to strength and I am incredibly grateful to all the wonderful children and their very supportive parents. Here's to the next 10 years.