Shakespeare, performance and prose for Key Stage 3 students

The ESU Performing Shakespeare Competition

The ESU Performing Shakespeare Competition allows all Key Stage 3 pupils and homeschooled pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare through the use of speaking and listening skills and performance. It is the UK's largest annual national Shakespeare competition for secondary school students.

Theatre and dramatic performance feature in much of the ESU's work. It encourages self-expression, creativity, and above all, confidence. In discovering their voice through performance, those taking part develop important skills which will equip them well in their studies and as they enter the world of work.

To take part students must first submit a video entry of their performance of a Shakespeare monologue or dialogue.  They will receive feedback for this performance regardless of the competition stage they eventually reach.

We provide teachers with resources to enable and encourage students to produce this video. The videos are then assessed and the best entries go forward to the Regional Finals which include educational workshops and live performances. Winners from each region are then invited to the National Grand Final which is held on a theatre stage.

Registration for this competition is currently closed.

To find out about the finals and winners of the 2017 competition click here.


The ESU provides teaching resources that enable students and teachers to engage with Shakespeare in a fun and interactive way. Students who reach the Regional Final have the opportunity to take part in educational workshops.

Example Speeches: Duologues
Example Speeches: Monologues