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Israeli students take part in Shakespeare festival

    Nineteen students from the Ironi Aleph Arts and Drama High School of Tel Aviv have become the first foreign pupils to participate in the Shakespeare Schools Festival in the UK. The festival has run annually since 2000 and involves over 700 schools.

    Last week the Israelis, hosted by the Cardiff Jewish community, gave two shows to a full house at the 500-seat Weston Theatre. They performed scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor, in Hebrew with English surtitles.

    Dominic Fitch, manager for the Shakespeare Schools Festival, said: "It worked incredibly well. They really managed to get to the heart of what the characters and scenes were about".

    Israel's honorary consul in Wales, Philip Kaye, said: "The students flew the flag of Israel with pride and dignity on their visit to Wales."

    David Steinberg, one of the Ironi teachers, paid tribute to the Cardiff community, "who accepted us in the most wonderful way". Ely Zuzovsky, one of the students, added: "Delivering Shakespeare in Hebrew to a British audience was very special for us."

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