What parents and students have to say

THE COURSE:  (excerpts from feedback forms)

  I felt safe at Great Shakes because everyone is kind and helps each other . . At the end of each day I would look forward to the next. . I enjoyed doing all the dying, stabbing and fighting . .I enjoy acting with lights and sound effects . . getting costume ready is very exiting. . Emma really enjoyed it and never stopped talking about it. James had a great sense of pride in what he achieved in one week, a great confidence booster. . .Tom is naturally shy but comes out of himself hugely when acting..good bonding/friendships through initial games.

THE PRODUCTION:   (excerpts from feedback forms)

 Stupendous!! Excellent as ever. Excellent - so professional. All the children are stars. A fantastic performance - the children looked like they had a brilliant week and the acting showed us they did! I cannot believe you have managed to teach children to act so well in one week! The comedy timing was perfect and we could hear every word. . Absolutely fantastic!! Great acting and portrayal of the emotions. Utterly in awe of how you pulled such a performance out of them all. Very professional-absolutely amazing that so much can be achieved in such a short time. . Superb . . I was very moved.


 I would like to say it was a nice change from the dry Shakespeare that I don't really understand. It was fun, I made new friends and it was a laugh - it wasn't all work and no play! Putting together the performance made me understand Shakespeare more and made me want to do more Shakespeare things.   Daisy I have really enjoyed my time at Great Shakes, it has given me more confidence in performing and also I have had lots of fun. I have met a lot of people some I am still great friends with. Great Shakes also helps at school when studying Shakespeare.   Tamsin

The rehearsals were really fun and the play was exciting and amazing. I'll definitely be coming again next year!!   Helen

Daisy absolutely loved everything about the Great Shakes workshop, she was fired with enthusiasm for Shakespeare and is eager for more! Fiona was inspirational as a teacher. Daisy really understood the plot and all the unusual turns of phrase, she was hooked by the Shakespearian humour and comic timing of the characters. The performance for parents was brilliant and it was obvious that all those taking part had had a great time.
Christine (Daisy's mum)

Rachel loves her annual week with Great Shakes and has thrived on her experiences with the group.   Paula Broomhead

Alex has taken part in 3 different Great Shakes sessions and has gone from strength to strength. It's great for self-confidence and builds a great team spirit throughout the rehearsal week. At our first Great Shakes performance we were bowled over by how much the children had achieved in the time. We have been equally captivated by every subsequent performance! Fiona really inspires the children and makes a "serious" subject easily accessible.  Catherine Holt

You help bring Shakespeare to life for young people in a great, fun way.   Thank you.
Ellen Saunders

I think Great Shakes is an excellent and fun way to introduce Shakespeare to children.  The quality of the performances after just one week's rehersal is outstanding and a credit to all those involved.  
Val McBeath


Jamie is thoroughly enjoying the whole experience and has already asked to attend next Easter and next Summer! He is enjoying the professionalism of the teaching/coaching. This is helping tobuild his confidence and self-esteem


Just fantastic. Very professional and impressive. Hard to believe this was achieved with a group of children who don't know one another, in just 5 days. It made me very proud. I felt Jamie was privilaged to have this opportunity.

In 2009 a few of our students graduated and here are  Sophie's thoughts about Great Shakes.

Great Shakes helped me fantastically in coursework on Romeo and Juliet as I was able to relate to the characters better. As for me, it has helped me feel completely at home on stage, and has helped me be a better actress. Fiona pushes you again and again to be better and the results are amazing. I will miss the sense of family between the cast. You make great mates and it is the best fun ever. I will miss it all terribly.

You can see the parting words of James, Luke and Tom plus photos on my blog page.


Really positive - enjoyed every day and really committed to learning lines.  Many death scenes on kitchen floor! . . . Elizabeth has thoroughly enjoyed the week, and quite literally has been 'glowing' at the start and the end of each day. . . . .They have loved it again!! It has given them so much confidence and loved meeting and working with new people. . . . VERY ENTHUSIASTIC EVERY DAY!  Jamie has thoroughly enjoyed this week and managed to follow the story although very complicated for us!. . . . The course has boosted Laura's confidence and communication skills. She has made new friends and become more interested in Shakespeare.


Extremely well put together and of a high production standard - well blocked and directed. Fantastic to see young people give it their all. . . . . Fantastic as always. . . . Awesome! I thought all the cast were excellent. . . Remarkable! Amazing in such a short space of time. . Excellent. The production made the story seem easier to follow and the characters really shone through.


ELIZABETH:This is my fourth Great Shakes and I have loved every single one! I look forward to it for months before.


Elizabeth absolutely loves the course! She enjoys mixing with the other children and the ice-breaker games etc. She has gained enourmous confidence in performing on stage, and she's discovered she loves Shakespeare. It has led to her reading Shakespeare and also going to other productions. She's discovered that she loves acting. The production: Fantastic! Can't believe the age range in the actors. Loved the dancing!


I like Great Shakes because I meet new people and I've made new friends. Also Fiona tells me good advice for when I'm on stage.


She can't stop talking about it, she is very enthusiastic about the whole thing. She's made new friends and enjoyed every day and been very committed to learning her lines. She's a confident little girl anyway but this week has made her extra confident and has boosted her communication skills. The show was unbelievable in what they have achieved in jut 5 days. That was incredible, a fantastic show. Everyone was brilliant. WOW!!


Francesca  - I have had a great time. I've never met any friends that were as kind to me as this. The show is a massive success and I would love to come back again without any hesitation.

Alice's mum - She loves it and we've seen her improving with every performance. Many thanks for your input and inspiration.

India's parents - India is full of enthusiasm about Great Shakes, up at the crack of dawn ready to go to the workshop. We delight in her delight, and are thrilled that she has had such a positive introduction to Shakespeare. 

 HAMLET 2013


I feel it has been a wonderful experience for Grace. She has really blossomed this week as a person and talked about nothing else. The whole experience has been a good one. It has been incredible value for money. She is already talking about booking for next year.


The children go from strength to strength. A very colourful and varied production with singing dancing and musical instruments as well. Brilliant acting.


I really like and enjoyed Great Shakes like I did last year. I feel Fiona has really improved my acting skills. The people who attend Great Shakes are really nice and it is a friendly atmosphere. I hope to come back next year.


 Ethan achieved teamwork, co-operation, self-expression, maturity, endless benefits re drama and just life!!



Zach enjoys his time at Great Shakes which I think says it all since he is an out-door sporty character for 90 percent of his free time. His confidence and expressive traits are developed every time he is involved in a production. The show: Amazing, not sure how the team manage to create a show of such quality in five days.


THE SHOW: Excellent. Thank you so much. We are both teachers and know how much work you have put into produce this. 



Great Shakes has given me so much and to be quite frank I would never have gone further with my acting and seen it as a career choice without it. This is all down to Fiona. Fiona, thanks for four great years and hopefully more to come of acting in and out of Great Shakes 


Joe has surprised himself learning his words even quicker this tine! Being in this environment is fantastic for his self-confidence. He has been looking forward to it and it has more than lived up to his expectations .

Summer 2015


I have and will always enjoy Great Shakes and hope for years to come. All kids will love Great Shakes because it really is "Great" Shakes.


My daughter has shown so  much enthusiasm to take part in Great Shakes. Each morning out of bed and ready to go (wanting to arrive early!) It has given her great confidence and she has gained new friends. The final productions are always great  and leave every with such a positive feeling. (just sad when it comes to an end!)


They have both been keen to go every day and eager to do more on the ply. They have developed an understanding of The Tempest/Shakespeare - discussed vocabulary and emotions to develop characterisation .


Great fun. Superb set. Amazing that the children spoke the shakespearean  language and conveyed understanding. Really enjoyed the monologues etc.



Francesca was delighted with the whole week. She enjoyed being reunited with old friends and making new ones It was a boost in confidence and self-esteem- an amazing opportunity.

 THE PRODUCTION  (Twelfth Night)

Absolutely fantastic. I can't believe you achieved all this in five days. (I'm  teacher and know how much prep is needed) A wonderful opportunity and we are so grateful Frankie has been part of it.


It was a great experience. Everyone was nice and the play was directed perfectly. It was the best show I have ever done and I can't wait to do the Summer workshop.


Owen has talked about it a huge amount telling us how much he has enjoyed the experience. He has make friends and has loved performing and practicing.


We really enjoyed the show. It actually made it easy to understand the story. You could tell the children were really enjoying it too.


Ava said its the best thing she has done on holiday. She has thoroughly enjoyed it and has grown a lot in confidence.