Why did Henry IV come to Tower Hamlets?
We believe that Shakespeare belongs to everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnic origin or social background. Shakespeare’s plays have the power to make you see the world differently, to inspire confidence and to change lives. The partnership between the Donmar Warehouse and Mulberry School for Girls allowed new audiences who may never before have had the chance to see a Shakespeare play to attend within their own community.
In one of the schools workshops which accompanied Phyllida Lloyd’s previous all-female production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, teachers heard one girl from Mulberry speak in public for the first time. With such a powerful impact, we knew that it couldn’t end there. The week’s residency at Mulberry School for Girls allowed us to build on this vital work and share the production with the wider community in Tower Hamlets. We wanted to share Shakespeare with all aspects of the community and challenge what people may think about our national playwright. This was a very powerful production, suitable for a wide range of people, with particular resonance for women and girls.
Mulberry School for Girls was immensely proud to welcome to this prestigious theatre company to our home in the MBGC Theatre, and to share this amazing production with Mulberry students, families and friends. Over 1000 people saw the production over the course of the week, and many also took part in the series of free workshops run by the Donmar to introduce and explore the themes and story of the play. Mulberry students also took part in the Donmar’s Take the Stage programme alongside the production, creating their own original piece of theatre.