In a first for the global network, Cheil London has claimed Gold at the 52nd International ANDY Awards for RE:Shakespeare. The app brings William Shakespeare to life for students who might be more interested in their smartphones than their bardic works, and was created by Cheil London in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Samsung Electronics UK. The award, presented to Cheil London in New York at the ceremony on Tuesday night (April 12), has additional resonance, of course, as it takes place in the same month as the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death.
“The beauty of the RE: Shakespeare app is that it makes learning accessible, so whether you’re on the bus, in the classroom or revising at home you can get to grips with the Bard wherever you are” - Andy Griffiths
The Android app, which first launched last year, is aimed at the over 3 million 11-18 year olds studying Shakespeare as part of the UK National Curriculum each year. It features numerous cultural influencers and famous faces including actors, rappers and even beat-boxers, who join together with RSC experts to bring the bard's work to life in a manner that's more approachable and relatable to today's youngsters.
“Young people struggle when pronouncing the words. You're doing a critically important thing by giving them the confidence that they can have a go” Iqbal Khan
Divided into three sections, dubbed “Play,” “Practice” and “Perform”, RE:Shakespeare features interactive games and videos and is hosted by RSC ambassador and former Doctor Who, David Tennant. It also stars the renowned actress, Tamsin Greig, beat-boxing artist Shlomo, rapper Akala from The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, and acclaimed director, Iqbal Khan. These charismatic mentors help students get to grips with Shakespeare’s language and meaning, transforming his dialogue into bite-size chunks, turning difficult lines into fun lyrical challenges and enabling a digital audience to re-interpret, re-mix and perform Shakespeare like never before.
“The Re:Shakespeare app is not just a must-have but a drop-whatever-it-is-that-you’re-doing-and-get-to-Google-Play-and-download-it-now must-have. It’s really that good” Bill Walthall
RE:Shakespeare lets students star in their own Dubsmash-style music video, mix the works Shlomo with Shakespeare to create their own tracks, or spot the difference between Shakespeare and hip-hop with Akala. It also gives them the chance to experience a 360-degree immersive performance, shot on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage in Stratford-upon-Avon. And in their final challenge, they get to perform on the stage themselves, opposite a real RSC actor.
The app was developed in conjunction with production company UNIT9, and is available to download free across selected Android devices via the Google Play store.