New research from digital technology company Adobe has revealed that 77% of those 11-18 year olds who struggle to understand William Shakespeare’s plays say it is because of the challenging language, with 29% saying that modern day interpretations of the plays would help with their understanding of Shakespeare. Following news in August of a decline in the number of young people studying English at A-Level, Adobe surveyed 2,000 UK school- and college-age people to understand this further and found that almost one fifth (19%) would welcome digital technology being used to help them visualise Shakespeare better in the classroom.

With an estimated two million British school children studying Shakespeare’s work each year,  Adobe and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have worked with five UK artists and photographers to reimagine iconic Shakespeare scenes for the 21st Century, providing teachers and students with new creative interpretations to bring Shakespeare’s work to life using Adobe technology, such as Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere Pro.

Shakespeare and Creative Skills

Nearly a fifth (19%) of the young people surveyed recognised Shakespeare as one of the country’s best creative minds of all time, beating contemporary artists across a range of disciplines including Stormzy (12%), David Hockney (2%) and Stella McCartney (2%).

Despite recognising his prowess as a creative, 42% don’t understand how studying Shakespeare will help them get a job in the future. With the World Economic Forum (WEF) naming creativity as the third most important skill employers need to thrive in 2020 as automation infiltrates the workplace, Simon Morris, Education Programme Lead, Adobe EMEA, said:

“The technologies changing the world of work create an opportunity to integrate digital learning into lessons, no matter the subject, to help young people develop the essential creativity and critical thinking skills they will need in their careers. Helping young people develop these skills should be a top priority and our partnership with the RSC is designed to support educators in delivering on that. Our Reimagine Shakespeare campaign is designed to showcase how Shakespeare can be made much more relatable to young people by taking a more creative approach to how they interact with the texts. This is just one of the many ways we at Adobe are working with schools to integrate technology into lessons to help students better understand complex topics – from Science, Maths and IT, to History, English, Geography and more.”

A Digital Art Series for the Instagram Generation

Adobe and the RSC have worked with fantasy photographer Rosie Hardy, comic book artist Amrit Birdi, photographer and conceptual artist Darryll Jones, digital artist Jack Teagle, and illustrator Octavia Bromell (Adobe’s Creative Resident - young talents employed by Adobe to spend a year focusing on a personal creative project while sharing their experience with the creative community) to put their own twists on iconic scenes from Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream using Adobe’s Creative Cloud tools.


To ensure the scenes stayed true to their original meanings, the artists worked closely with RSC Director of Education Jacqui O’Hanlon and RSC theatre director Alex Thorpe.

Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Education, added “The RSC and Adobe believe that creativity and the arts should be an integral part of every child’s education. We know from our extensive research that having access to arts and cultural learning improves empathy, critical and creative thinking in young people as well as developing their social and communication skills.  All these qualities and attributes are essential for helping prepare young people to take their place in the world.  We’re thrilled to be working together to inspire young creators to explore Shakespeare’s work in new ways, using digital tools to explore the thing that RSC actors and directors work on every day: how to bring Shakespeare’s best-loved texts to life for contemporary audiences of all ages.”  

Adobe & The RSC – A Partnership to Support Educators Bring Creativity to the Fore

As part of the partnership with the RSC, Adobe will also co-present the RSC’s popular First Encounters with Shakespeare tour this Autumn, featuring 90-minute adaptations of Shakespeare for 7-13-year olds, and provide a digital learning experience for Adobe Spark and Creative Cloud.  Adobe Spark is available to all schools free-of-charge and can be used by students to create infographics, graphics and videos for school projects. 

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,000 11-18 year olds between 06.09.2019 - 10.09.2019. Censuswide abides by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. 

RSC estimate based on the number of students taking GCSE English annually, those preparing for exams, and the fact that students aged 11-14 are introduced to at least of Shakespeare’s plays as part of the KS3 National Curriculum.

About the Creators and Their Creations

Jack Teagle is a freelance illustrator based in South West England. He has worked in a large variety of fields, including editorial, character design, storyboarding, poster/ product/ textile design, and worked as a cartoonist for Front magazine from 2010-2014. In his creation, digital artist Jack Teagle depicts the three witches in Macbeth sourcing the recipe for their potion online using Adobe Draw and Photoshop.

Octavia Bromell, better known as Tink, is an illustrator based in rural England. She uses her experience with anxiety and depression to illustrate the joy in everyday life. Focused on empowering herself and others, Tink’s work is bright, fun, and tackles the realities of what it means to be a human in 2019. She is currently Adobe’s UK Creative Resident. Octavia Bromell has recreated the lovers’ first meeting on a dating app in a hipster café using Adobe Fresco, Rush and Premiere Pro.

Rosie Hardy is a self-portrait artist and fantasy photographer based in Manchester. Her work often focuses on surreal and ethereal concepts with touches of magical scenes. Fantasy photographer Rosie Hardy has reimagined one of the key characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, in her signature style, using Adobe Lightroom.

Amrit Birdi is a London-based comic artist and illustrator who is known for his work on Joe Sugg's best-selling Username: Evie graphic novel series. He and his team produce comic & graphic novel interior and cover art, video game key art, book jacket art, concept art and tv & film art. Comic book artist Amrit reimagines A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a superhero fantasy in an urban dystopia using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator.

Darryll Jones is a conceptual artist and former graphic designer, best known for his work travelling the UK extensively taking pictures with Eric the stormtrooper, which has been met with huge success on Instagram. Reimagining the iconic balcony scene between Romeo and Juliet, Darryll features his Stormtrooper character Eric texting Juliet before whisking her off on his motorbikeusing Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Adobe’s partnership with the RSC builds on the theatre company’s ongoing work in supporting teachers and students to unlock Shakespeare’s plays with creative approaches. The partnership, launched in January 2019, supports teachers and schools with free digital learning guides and teaching resources that help integrate creative digital learning methods into classroom study for all subjects.  In turn, for students who are native content creators, it gives the opportunity to explore their creativity around a core subject.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page