DOZENS of children will be bringing Shakespeare's work to life by performing in front of audiences in Richmond over the next two nights.

The town's recently-restored Georgian Theatre Royal is one of a number of venues around the country hosting the Shakespeare Schools Festival.

The festival aims to make the Bard's work more accessible by taking it out of the classroom.

Tonight, children from Richmond School, Giggleswick and Stokesley are in the limelight from 7pm.

Tomorrow, it is the turn of youngsters from Bedale, Catterick Garrison's Risedale Community College and Richmond's St Francis Xavier School.

"This reflects the theatre's commitment to getting schoolchildren through our door," said new theatre manager, Vaughn Curtis.

"What we hope to ensure is that they enjoy the experience and want to come back, if not as performers then as members of an audience.

"Tickets have been selling well and I'm sure we can look forward to some great performances."

Students have chosen to perform abridged versions of tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth as well as comedies such as A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night.

Tickets are still available for the performances by telephoning (01748) 825252.