Opening in a charming puppet theatre and performed among quaintly contrived woodland nooks, Christine Edzard's ambitious take on Shakespeare is the best school production you're ever likely to see. But, as a feature film, it lacks the immediacy that might have made it magical. The main problem is that the youngsters rarely seem comfortable with the poetry, their "recital by rote" style further exposed by luminaries such as Derek Jacobi, who provide the voices of the marionettes. Yet its honesty and homely ingenuity render this an impossible film to dislike. Besides, it's infinitely preferable to Adrian Noble's ghastly Royal Shakespeare Company version.
Jamie Peachey, John Heyfron, Danny Bishop, Jessica Fowler, Leane Lyson, Daniel Rouse, David Joyce, Oliver Szczypka, Jack Nottage, Mathew Zelic, Hassan Lahrech, Dominic Haywood-Benge, Rajouana Zalal