The competition is now closed, and our Shakespeare Shortlisters are busy reading, watching, listening to and looking at the incredible creativity displayed by young people. Shortlisted entries will be announced in October.

We will soon be releasing further details about our What You Will Gala, our West End celebration of young people’s creativity held on 27 November.

In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to explore Shakespeare’s stories through the resources and activities available here.

Are there any other characters that deserve a voice? Remember that anything is possible.

Your character. Your story. Your way.

About the Competition ⬇
  • If you are aged 8 – 25, we want you to create a new speech for a character in a Shakespeare play. It could be a major character, one who speaks less or even one who doesn’t speak at all!
  • We’d like you to consider the moment or purpose for which you are giving this character a voice: What does Isabella have to say at the end of Measure for Measure? What can Romeo tell us about young people who resort to violence, or Hamlet about the loss of a parent?
  • ‘Speech’ does not have to mean written, spoken or even word-based – you choose how your character communicates. It could be with a song or spoken word piece, with movement, or via a visual message.
  • Young people can submit entries in English, British Sign Language, Welsh, Irish or Gaelic – or without any words at all.
  • Successful shortlisted entries will be showcased in a gala event at the Criterion Theatre in Piccadilly Circus in November. We will also be creating The Forgotten Folio – a digital legacy of the speeches that Shakespeare ‘forgot’ to write.

Competition closes for entries on 31 July 2023!