Great Shakes! Do you remember these Shakespeare plays, workshops and more?

Maxine Denby as Viola in the Hethersett Old Hall School production of Twelfth Night at The Playhouse

Maxine Denby as Viola in the Hethersett Old Hall School production of Twelfth Night at The Playhouse in 2004. Picture: ADRIAN JUDD

The play’s the thing ... but which one? Every year, schools and professional and amateur companies across East Anglia study, perform and reinterpret a wide range of Shakespearean dramas.

Pupils from Downham High School performing inThe Tempest, to raise money for the town's Sovereign Ce

Pupils from Downham High School performing inThe Tempest, to raise money for the town's Sovereign Centre in 2004. From left, Terri Pankhurst (Miranda), David Downing (Ferdinand), Joss Stuart (Antonio), Vicky Fuller (Sebastian), Ryan Laws (Alonso), Ned Markwell (Ariel) and Hannah Carr (Prospero). Picture: MATTHEW USHER - Credit: Matthew Usher

To help mark Shakespeare’s 455th birthday on April 23, here’s a selection of photos from some of the past productions, workshops and Bard-themed events in our region.

Leiston High School's modern production of A Midsummer Nights Dream in 2006.
Picture: CONTRIBUT

Leiston High School's modern production of A Midsummer Nights Dream in 2006. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

According to one recent survey, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is currently the most-performed Shakespeare play around the world, and it is also one of the top titles taught in schools.

The masque scene during Romeo and Juliet at Orwell High's Shakespeare Shorts evening on 2004. Pict

The masque scene during Romeo and Juliet at Orwell High's Shakespeare Shorts evening on 2004. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

That’s certainly borne out locally, with many Dreams taking the stage over the years.

The full cast from Felixstowe Academy's acclaimed musical production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Ni

The full cast from Felixstowe Academy's acclaimed musical production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2006. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Leiston High School put on a modern interpretation of the magical romantic comedy in 2006, while Felixstowe Academy turned it into a musical in 2013.

English teacher Michelle Jones playing the part of Juliet during the Shakespeare Week at Costessey H

English teacher Michelle Jones playing the part of Juliet during the Shakespeare Week at Costessey High School, Norwich, in 2000 Picture: LIZ REYNOLDS - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers


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However, another survey shows that Macbeth is the most-taught play at high schools in the UK, and there have been many variedat local productions of this great tragedy too.

Hartismere High School taking part in The Schools shakespeare Festival at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ip

Hartismere High School taking part in The Schools shakespeare Festival at The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, in 2004. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Stowupland High School’s drama department put on a bold, highly original production in 2005, with the three witches as “spirits of the dead”,

Shakespeare in Christchurch Park. a performance of Romeo and Juliet in 2002. Picture: JOHN KERR

Shakespeare in Christchurch Park. a performance of Romeo and Juliet in 2002. Picture: JOHN KERR

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On a lighter note, the three witches also featured in a Shakespeare day at Hamonds High School in Swaffham in 1999.

Actor Simon Floyd performing his interpretation of Macbeth to Heartsease High School pupils in 1998

Actor Simon Floyd performing his interpretation of Macbeth to Heartsease High School pupils in 1998 Picture: STEVE ADAMS

Romeo and Juliet is another very popular choice for schools and drama companies, along with Twelfth Night and The Tempest.

William Shakespeare's The Tempest being performed in the open at Bungay Castle on July 22, 1992 by t

William Shakespeare's The Tempest being performed in the open at Bungay Castle on July 22, 1992 by the Circle 67 Summer Tour 1992. Picture: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

There have been many outdoor productions and Shakespeare-themed events over the years, often in historic settings, including a production of The Tempest at Bungay Castle in 1992 and Wetheringsett Primary School pupils taking part in Macbeth at Framlingham Castle in 2004.

Whiffler Theatre - Norfolk-based Crude Apache put on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, from a 1979

Whiffler Theatre - Norfolk-based Crude Apache put on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, from a 1979 adaptation, in 2002. Picture: BILL SMITH - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

The Shakespeare Theatre company visits Charles Burrell High School in Thetford to teach the children

The Shakespeare Theatre company visits Charles Burrell High School in Thetford to teach the children about Shakespeare using rap music in 2006. Samantha Bimson, Ashley Thorne and Alfie Cornwall Picture: SONYA BROWN - Credit: Archant

Hadleigh High School pupils in a scene from Romeo and Juliet, part of the Shakespeare School Festi

Hadleigh High School pupils in a scene from Romeo and Juliet, part of the Shakespeare School Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, in 2004. Picture Richard Snasdell

Helen Fradley and Peter Fiddling , as Romeo & Juliet in a play within a play, from Harlequinade,

Helen Fradley and Peter Fiddling , as Romeo & Juliet in a play within a play, from Harlequinade, a farce by the Watlington Players performed in 2001 Picture: JOHN HOCKNELL - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Belstead School pupils in a scene from Macbeth, part of the Shakespeare School Festival at the Ne

Belstead School pupils in a scene from Macbeth, part of the Shakespeare School Festival at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich in 2004. Picture Richard Snasdell

The Deben Players' production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare at the Seckford Theatre in Woo

The Deben Players' production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare at the Seckford Theatre in Woodbridge in 2010. Pictured are (l-r) Dennis Bowron (Feste the Jester), Steve Roche (Sir Toby Belch) and Neill Pearce (Sir Andrew Aguecheek). Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Working with teaching assistant Lesley Crosthwaite, children from Rocklands School and Hemblington P

Working with teaching assistant Lesley Crosthwaite, children from Rocklands School and Hemblington Primary School pretend to be monsters, as the Rocklands children prepare to act out The Tempest in 2000. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Wetheringsett Primary School performs
Macbeth at Framlingham Castle.
Picture: James Fletcher

Wetheringsett Primary School performs Macbeth at Framlingham Castle. Picture: James Fletcher - Credit: NEWS

The three witches (from the left, Amy Shergold, Sabrina Smith and Dominique Tuck) cast their spell o

The three witches (from the left, Amy Shergold, Sabrina Smith and Dominique Tuck) cast their spell on Macbeth (Jamie Caddick) during Shakespeare day Hamonds High School, Swaffham in 1999. Picture: BRIAN WAITE - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

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