Noma Dumezweni, Tamsin Greig and Patrick Stewart are backing a new initiative from the Royal Shakespeare Company to help students studying the playwright’s work during the lockdown.
Through the Homework Help scheme, artists from the RSC, who are currently unable to perform due to theatre closures, will respond to questions from students about Shakespeare and drama studies.
Others who have signed up to the initiative include Paapa Essiedu, Niamh Cusack, David Tennant and David Bradley.
Students are asked to share questions for the actors on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RSCHomeworkHelp or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by May 10.
A selection of videos and written answers from the actors will be shared on the RSC website from May 11.
RSC director of education Jacqui O’Hanlon said: “As a result of the Covid-19 outbreak and the closure of UK schools, many young people will be working from home. We know this can feel isolating and demotivating and we want to ensure we do everything we can to support and inspire them."
She added: “As children and parents across the UK adjust to their new virtual classrooms, this gives us a new challenge and opportunity to extend our support and to work with artists from the RSC’s performance history. They will answer any questions young people want answered about Shakespeare and theatre generally.” Artistic director Gregory Doran said: “Although the RSC is in lockdown and operating with a skeleton team, it is important that we continue to offer support to students, families and teachers across the country.
"Our acting companies and associate artists are helping us to deliver Homework Help with a difference, serving young people in their time of need and unlocking the transformative power of Shakespeare for a generation who are living through unprecedented times."
Doran added that the RSC is encouraging donations towards its home learning programme, which can be made via the organisation’s website.