RE: Shakespeare - Much Ado About an App

Jun 30. 2015

Samsung and the Royal Shakespeare Company create an immersive Shakespeare app experience for students

Samsung Electronics UK and the Royal Shakespeare Company are today launching an app for Android devices which will inspire students about Shakespeare, both in and out of the classroom. Designed for the estimated 3 million UK students and 64 million students worldwide studying his plays each year,1 the app, entitled RE:Shakespeare, is the ideal study partner.

The first of its kind, the RE:Shakespeare app uses videos and interactive games to bring Shakespeare's work to life in different ways. The video content was filmed using 360 degree cameras for the first time on an RSC stage. This means that the app can make full use of a phone's gyroscope technology to create a fully immersive experience. Whether the user is in the living room or classroom, they will feel as though they are on stage – their every turn followed by the screen view. The app is another example of Samsung's drive to bring virtual reality experiences into mainstream consumer life.

RE:Shakespeare focuses on Much Ado About Nothing and includes thematic links to and quotes from 19 other Shakespeare plays. It aims to re-frame how students approach Shakespeare, building on their love of technology to help them to have a new experience of his work. Hosted by RSC actor David Tennant, the app engages pupils with the help of various famous coaches, ranging from rappers, to spoken word poets and RSC voice coaches – all cast with students in mind. This variety keeps the content fresh and exciting – perfect for the teenage target audience given that one in four admit to being more influenced by celebrities than people they know.2 These popular faces transform Shakespeare's words into lyrical challenges and ultimately prepare young people to perform alongside RSC actors in the 360 environment of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The app will be rolled out to schools in September.

As a nation we are increasingly 'snacking' on content and the RE:Shakespeare app takes this into account by engaging users via three interactive sessions - play, practice and perform - each reflecting a different stage of learning.

  • Play – Tackling Shakespeare head on, music and rhyme take centre stage through a series of three immersive games. You can lip sync your favourite lines with Indigo and star in a Dubsmash style video, mix Shlomo with Shakespeare to create your own shareable track and see if you can tell the rapper from Shakespeare with Akala's Hip Hop Shakespeare Quiz.
  • Practice – This is where the user can really get to grips with the 'what, why and how' of Shakespearean language. With tips from actor Tamsin Greig, voice coach Nia Lynn and RSC director Iqbal Khan, this session gives you the language low down and helps you practice your alliteration with the ultimate aim of helping you to deliver your lines with feeling and meaning. Users can also enjoy a performance of two scenes from Much Ado About Nothing in spectacular '360 degree action' - an immersive experience which makes you feel as though you're actually standing on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage in Stratford Upon Avon.
  • Perform – Now users get the chance to get up 'on stage' and try out your new found skills, performing in Much Ado About Nothing alongside some of the RSC's actors. Have a go with and without your lines. By now, you'll be going straight to the top of class!

"Even 400 years on Shakespeare remains Britain's preeminent playwright," explains Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director. "His plays are part of our cultural inheritance and a curriculum requirement. We play a leading role in ensuring that this special inheritance is shared with young people to nurture and develop their relationship with Shakespeare's work and live theatre. The RE:Shakespeare app helps young people to relate to Shakespeare's work in a completely new way. It invites them not only to work with a truly exciting range of artists but also invites them onto our stages through the use of innovative technology. That's a great combination and one that we hope will enable many more young people to enjoy Shakespeare's work."

Andy Griffiths, President of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland, said: "Working with the RSC to develop the RE:Shakespeare app has allowed us to build on our commitment to inspire students' learning through technology. We know technology has a positive impact on pupils' engagement and their ability to learn, so what better way to engage with Shakespeare then by giving it to them in the palm of their hand? The beauty of the RE:Shakespeare app is that it makes learning accessible, so whether you're on the bus, in the classroom or revising at home you can get to grips with the Bard wherever you are."

RE:Shakespeare is free to download now on Google Play. Download here.

To download RE:Shakespeare:
The rollout of RE:Shakespeare starts on 30th June 2015 across selected Android devices.

RE:Shakespeare is free to download on Google Play and can be found on the Samsung Electronics UK Channel or by searching for RE:Shakespeare.
Download the app here: http://bitly.com/1eUXyHc

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies, redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, cameras, digital appliances, printers, medical equipment, network systems, and semiconductor and LED solutions. We are also leading in the Internet of Things space through, among others, our Smart Home and Digital Health initiatives. We employ 307000 people across 84 countries with annual sales of US $196 billion. To discover more, please visit our official website at www.samsung.com and our official blog at global.samsungtomorrow.com

For more information, visit www.samsung.com/uk/citizenship

About Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare's home town.

We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre. We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today's writers. We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We reach 450,000 children and young people annually through our education work across the UK, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.

Registered charity no. 212481 www.rsc.org.uk

About RSC Education
RSC Education transforms experiences of Shakespeare for young people: in the classroom, in performance and online.

Our approach is rooted in a 130 year history of making theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and sharing that wealth of skills and knowledge with teachers and students all over the world. We build long term relationships with school, teachers and communities, particularly those who have the least access to Shakespeare, the RSC and cultural provision – and we know that when our approaches are adopted, student attitudes to school and learning in general, as well as to Shakespeare, improve.

We were the first theatre company in the UK to introduce Shakespeare to primary age children and more recently, became the first UK theatre to broadcast its productions directly into schools and classrooms up and down the country. To date, over 76,000 children and young people have participated in the RSC Schools' Broadcast series.
We work in over 14 countries world-wide and reach over 530,000 children and young people each year.

For more information, visit http://www.rsc.org.uk/education/

1Bstubbs.co.uk 2014
2http://www.barclays.com/citizenship/citizenship-in-action/barclays-spaces-for-sports.html