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Brief Published: 16 Jul 2015

Samsung Teaches Shakespeare

The UK's Royal Shakespeare Company has collaborated with South Korean tech giant Samsung to create an Android app that makes William Shakespeare's work more accessible to teenagers. Hosted by Scottish actor David Tennant, Re:Shakespeare focuses on the play Much Ado About Nothing, but includes links to and quotes from 19 further Shakespeare plays.

In 'play' mode, users can create their own shareable audio tracks by mashing up Shakespeare verse with soundbites from British beatbox artist Shlomo to highlight its natural rhythm. They can also lipsync to performances of London-based poet Indigo Williams to create Elizabethan Dubsmash videos. The 'practice' section offers advice from UK-based voice coach Nia Lynn and British actress Tamsin Greig on intonation and delivery of lines on stage.

Finally, students can perform their skills in an immersive experience. Placed on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage in Stratford-upon-Avon through a 360-degree video, they can choose to perform opposite a Royal Shakespeare Company actor as either Benedick or Beatrice – the sparring reluctant lovers at the centre of Much Ado About Nothing.

Placing Shakespeare's work into students' hands to be remixed and experienced on their own mobile devices makes the daunting material much more approachable. Examples like Google's collaboration with production company The Mill on an immersive video exclusively for mobile also confirm that mobile devices are powerful storytelling tools.

For more on narrative formats and consumption modes, see Cannes Lions 2015: New Narrative Tools & Ideas, part of our coverage from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2015.

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