Wembley pupils first in the country to see Shakespeare’s First Folio

Feni, Kiya, Alix, Ashwarth and Kailashh are the first children from a primary class to see the 392-y

Feni, Kiya, Alix, Ashwarth and Kailashh are the first children from a primary class to see the 392-year-old Shakepeare's First Folio, worth more than £3m - Credit: Archant

Pupils from a Wembley primary school are the first in the country to clap their eyes on a rare Shakespeare book centuries old and worth more than £3miillon thanks to their plucky teaching assistant.

Jamie Wagstaff, a teaching assistant Barham Primary School in Danethorpe Road, took five year 5 pupils to see Shakespeare’s First Folio, a copy of the playwright’s complete plays dating back to 1623, at the Guildhall Library.

The 392-year old First Folio, published seven years ager the famous Bard’s death, is one of only 14 perfect copies in the world and is worth around £3.5million.

Mr Wagstaff, working on a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream with the pupils, contacted the library on the off chance after reading about the Folio in a newspaper article.

“I got in touch with the city of London because I heard they had this publication and thought wouldn’t it be great if the children could see that as it didn’t seem to be something that happened often. So I got in touch and they very kindly obliged.”

After the private viewing Mr Wagstaff was presented with two reproductions of the Folio, one for himself and the other for the school.

In a caption competition, two pupils Feni Patel and Kiya Dave, won with the quote: “Our Shakesperience was Shakespearetastic.”

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Dr Peter Ross, Principal Librarian at Guildhall Library said: This is the first time that we have provided an opportunity for a group of school children to engage with Shakespeare’s First Folio, so it is a very unique opportunity for Barham Primary School and I doubt that we will be able to repeat it often.

“Given the rarity, value and delicate nature of the book, which has been described as the most important book ever published in the English language, we have in the past only been able to show the book to Shakespeare scholars and as a treat for actors and directors working on performances of Shakespeare.”