Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation’s Theatre Festival returns with thousands of children performing live for the first time since the start of the pandemic

  • 23 February 2022

After two years of uncertainty and disruption that have seen young people denied vital opportunities to work creatively together in-person and access the arts, this year’s CSSF Theatre Festival is more important than ever.

CSSF offers a fun, active, and hands-on approach giving pupils the chance to reconnect and develop confidence and resilience. With 73 performance evenings throughout February, March and April across 33 venues such as the Greenwich Theatre in London, the Leeds Playhouse, and the Riverfront Theatre in Newport, audiences will see young people explore the full spectrum of life’s emotion from killer kings to star-cross’d lovers.

As schools emerge from the pandemic, a range of experts have called for culture and the arts to be at the heart of children’s education recovery and renewal, highlighting the need for children to express themselves to enhance their wellbeing. Participation in the CSSF Theatre Festival also helps boost vital life skills for children including teamwork, planning, presentation skills and communication development.

Francesca Ellis, Head of Creative and Programmes at CSSF, said: “After nearly two and a half years, we are over the moon to be back in theatres. Young people have missed out on so much, and we’ve felt the release of a huge pent-up creative appetite as we’ve worked with schools preparing their performances. Now, seeing children step onto these professional stages and shining in front of an audience, you can see them light up with joy and confidence. A CSSF performance night really is something special, and we are delighted to share that celebratory atmosphere with communities up and down the country.”

Actor and CSSF supporter Jan Ravens Said: “The impact of the project will extend far beyond today. Along the way, they become better problem solvers, creative thinkers and team players. I’ve seen for myself how Shakespeare and performance can raise children’s confidence, resilience and ambition. And I know right now that children need these things more than ever.”

Hannah Henson, a teacher at Beecroft Garden Primary School said: “It’s incredible to think how far some of the students in this group have come. For example, one of our actors has a history of speech and language difficulties. To see him perform, you would never know. He’s grown massively in confidence.”

A list of the performances across the country and where to purchase tickets can be found at