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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Shakespeare 'rated' by young Britons
Wayne Cater(Fabian) and Barry Stanton (Sir Toby Belch) in Much Ado About Nothing
The poll could prove much ado about something for the RSC
Shakespeare remains an important cultural force in the lives of many young Britons, according to a poll.

A third of 15- to 35-year-olds said the playwright was still relevant today and 27% said they believed his plays had an important impact on the English language.


We could be pushing at an open door

Adrian Noble, RSC
The poll was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and more than 650 people were surveyed.

Adrian Noble, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, said the research was encouraging.

'New ways'

The survey stated that 28% of young people had been to see a play in the last year, compared with 25% who had attended a pop concert.

"Many theatre companies today are constantly looking for new ways to attract Generation X; those young people who have been brought up with many more entertainment options and are far more used to the screen than the stage," said Noble.

Only 3% said they would be intimidated if they went to see a Shakespeare production.

Of those surveyed who did go to the theatre, 29% said they went "to do something different", while 31% said it was a good way to spend time.

'Open door'

Cinema (79%), clubbing (49%) and sport (45%) were the most favoured leisure options by those surveyed.

Noble added: "What's great about this research is that if we get it right, we could be pushing at an open door."

The poll results will launch an RSC Summer Debate entitled Theatre and the TV Generation, at The Royal Institution in London on Wednesday.

See also:

24 Apr 02 | Entertainment
12 May 02 | Entertainment
29 Apr 02 | Entertainment
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