Helen Mirren Doesn't Think Shakespeare Should Be Taught in Schools

The Oscar-winning actress wants William Shakespeare off the school curriculum because reading the Elizabethan playwright's works 'might be off-putting to younger kids.'

AceShowbiz - Helen Mirren doesn't want William Shakespeare's plays taught in schools as she thinks children's first experience of the Bard should be in the theatre.

The Elizabethan playwright's works have long been a staple of English lessons in British schools - but Helen, 75, who got her start as an actress at the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), thinks reading rather than watching is the best way to appreciate them.

"I don't think Shakespeare should be taught in schools," she said during a Zoom conversation with RSC artistic director Gregory Doran, according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "All young people's experience of Shakespeare should be live theatre."

She also said that "droning through" his plays on the page might be off-putting to younger kids, and that theatre was needed to make the 16th Century writer's "sometimes archaic language alive and accessible."

Helen played a gender-swapped version of the male character Prospero in a 2010 film version of Shakespeare's play "The Tempest", and is in favour of changing the sex of characters to give women the chance to play some of theatre's greatest roles.

"I'm so happy now that women can do Hamlet, do Richard III, do Lear, as Glenda Jackson just did," she said. "It certainly was beyond any possibility when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s. It was just impossible."

Helen Miren will next star in dramedy "The Duke" and the upcoming ninth installment of action movie franchise "Fast and Furious".

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