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.

Get Performing!

To take part in the competition, students must first submit a video entry which they will receive feedback on regardless of which stage of the competition they reach.

Teachers are provided with resources to enable and encourage their students to submit a short video of themselves performing a monologue or duologue from any of Shakespeare's texts. These are then adjudicated and the best entries are sent forward to the Regional Finals, a day which includes educational workshops and a live performance of their video entry.

Winners from each region are invited to the National Grand Final in London in Spring 2017.

Registration for this competition has now closed. If you are interested in registering for the competition, please contact Emma Coffey on

Would you like to attend the final and see the competition in action? It's free to attend and tickets can be found 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.

Video Upload Guide
Example Speeches: Duologues
Example Speeches: Monologues
Hosting Guide
Performing Shakespeare: At a Glance