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The Williams Nicolson Award

The Award

We are delighted to announce the launch of The Williams Nicolson Award 2022. 

We strongly believe live theatre and active workshops are crucial educational tools to engage with Shakespeare's verse.


That's why we are partnering with communications consultancy Williams Nicolson to offer 6 FREE SHOW & WORKSHOP PACKAGES to schools across the UK. The award aims to ensure underfunded and underrepresented schools can access quality Shakespearean education from working theatre practitioners.

Thanks to the generosity of Williams Nicolson, these unique educational packages are funded in full.

We will be holding three rounds for the award in 2022.

Please see below for dates and further details.

“Shakespeare was the most influential writer in the history of our language. He invented thousands of words we use today. Without Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have ‘swagger’ or ‘bedazzle’ or ‘fashionable’. And words make worlds. At Williams Nicolson, we are passionate about the power of language to change minds and make business better. We are thrilled to support Bard in the Yard as they teach us all how to better connect and communicate, one performance at a time.”

Louise Nicolson, Founder, Williams Nicolson

Recipients of the Williams Nicolson Award will receive:​


• One Embodying Shakespeare workshop •

• One performance of either KING LEONARDO or THE SCOTTISH PLAY • 

• One Q&A session with the actor delivering after the performance •

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"The pupils learnt a lot, had fun, witnessed the hard work needed for a one-man show, and got a lot of free advice into the bargain. Thank you, on behalf of the enthusiastic kids who had the treat of participating and watching."

Lloyd Allington, Director of Drama, Dean Close School

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"The pupils at Merchant Taylors’ School had an excellent experience working on such a relevant play. In addition to exploring some of Shakespeare’s great speeches, they were able to learn about the context in which he was writing. "

Cheryl Clarke, Head of Drama

Merchant Taylor's School

  • Eligibility
    The Williams Nicolson award is dedicated to enabling disadvantaged and underrepresented schools to have access to a unique Shakespearean learning experience. Eligibility criteria: Participating students must be aged 12-18 years. The school or educational organisation must be based in England. You are applying on behalf of a school or educational organisation to receieve the Williams Nicolson Award. The participating schools must not be a previous recipient of the Williams Nicolson Award. Selection criteria: To broaden the reach of the Williams Nicolson Award for underrepresented audiences the following additional criteria will be take into account when assessing applications. Preference will be given to: Schools based in a remote and rural location. Schools with a high proportion of students who are from a minority ethnic background. Schools with a high proportion of students who are eligible for pupil premium. Engagement with students over a broader geographical spread. We may prioritise awards from one region over another if necessary to achieve this. Engagement that includes whole year groups, or whole classes. Conditions of the grant: The award must be delivered before 31st December 2022. You must complete a teacher feedback survey (provided by Bard in the Yard) both before and after the workshop. You must enable students to complete a feedback form (provided by Bard in the Yard) both before and after the workshop. You must provide students with permission slips for photos or videos to be used in Bard in the Yard's and Williams Nicolson’s own promotional activities. All applications must be submitted before the deadline.
  • If you've applied before
    If you have applied before and been successful, we are unable to accept another application from your school or educational organisation. We want to ensure that we are reaching as many different schools that need support to fund specialist Shakespearean training. If you have applied before and been unsuccessful, you are able to submit another application for your school or educational organisation. Please make sure that your application meets our criteria. If you need any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team for advice.
  • Application dates
    We are running three funding rounds in 2022. Key dates: Round 1: Application open: February 25th 2022 Application deadline: 12pm, March 25th 2022 Funding result: April 10th 2022 Round 2: Application open: June 13th 2022 Application deadline: 12pm, July 15th 2022 Funding result: July 22nd 2022 Round 3: Application open: July 24th 2022 Application deadline: September 23rd 2022 Funding result: September 30th 2022
  • Access and support
    Please make sure to inform our team if you have any additional access requirements for your school. We are able to make any adaptations to our workshop necessary to ensure that the content is suitable for your students. If you would like to discuss your schools access requirements any further, please do not hesitate to contact the team.
  • Contact us
    If you need any more help with your application or have any further questions, please contact Please sign up to our mailing list to hear more about workshops, and performances available to your students.

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