HIS plays are still entrancing theatregoers hundreds of years after his death.
Now local schoolchildren as young as five have taken to the stage to perform one of William Shakespeare’s famous plays.
Students from Honley High School were joined by children from eight neighbouring primary schools for a production of King Lear.
The show also had an international feel as students from Dubai flew over especially to take part.
They joined forces as part of a series of national festivals to celebrate the great playwright.
The event had the official backing from the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company, whose actors have been working closely with the children and teachers.
English teacher Caroline Davenport-Jones said the project was helping make Shakespeare more accessible to young pupils.
She said: “Our partnership with the RSC has really transformed the teaching of Shakespeare.
“We have moved on from a text-bound approach with our pupils and are now engaging with the text dramatically.
“This change in approach has really inspired our pupils to develop their own ideas and interpretation.”
Honley High School is part of the RSC’s national flagship education project called the Learning and Performance Network.
As part of this the school was asked to host one of only 10 festivals taking place nationally.
This year’s event is called ‘No Fear, King Lear’ and is based on the tragedy, which is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest masterpieces.
Each school had to create their own performance inspired by a different element of the story and the young actors taking part were aged five to 14.
Pupils from Honley High were joined by children from Honley Infant and Nursery School and Junior School, Brockholes Junior and Infant School, Meltham Moor Primary School, Helme School, Meltham Primary School, Crosland Moor Junior School and Rowley Lane Junior, Infant and Nursery School.
About180 children staged three performances to audiences including RSC members, with each school performing different sections.
Young people from the Regent International School in Dubai also performed.
Their headteacher Gill Roberts worked at Brockholes School and was keen to take Shakespeare to children in the United Arab Emirates.
The partnership is for three years and involves the RSC working closely with the school by providing teacher training and workshops with students led by actors from the company.
Two of the school’s teachers, Miss Davenport-Jones and drama teacher John Cotgrave spent time training at the company’s headquarters in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
Mr Cotgrave said: “The children absolutely loved it, it was wonderful to see the sense of enjoyment they were getting out of performing Shakespeare.
“It was fantastic to see them speak the language of Shakespeare and I’m sure they’ll be quoting the lines for many years to come.
“The point was to make his work more accessible so that children weren’t hung up on the language. People can learn from Shakespeare because his themes are still very relevant.”