Search

VIDEO: Hampstead boy, 6, hopes to learn 100 Shakespeare sonnets

17:00 10 January 2014

Jai Sen Castle. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Jai Sen Castle. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Archant

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate...”

It is the opening to Sonnet 18, one of the best known of William Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, and not the type of thing you’d imagine a primary school pupil to come out with.

But for more than a year, six-year-old Jai Sen Castle has been reciting much of the Bard’s work.

In fact, Sonnet 18 was the first Shakespearean sonnet he learnt to recite in full after starting at Christ Church School, in Christchurch Hill, Hampstead, in September 2012.

Jai told the Ham&High: “I like the beauty of it. I want to live until I’m 100 and learn 100 Shakespeare sonnets.”

The young wordsmith owes much of his talent to his mother Angel Min Shi who began playing audio recordings of Shakespeare recitals to her son in their Heath Street home.

She said: “I found some interesting interactive Shakespeare apps for the iPad. I started to play a Shakespeare sonnet to Jai and he dropped everything in his hands.

“He knelt down and fixed his face into the screen of the iPad. I asked him how he felt and he said, ‘Beautiful mummy’.”

Since that early introduction to the world’s most famous writer, Jai has visited Shakespeare’s birthplace on a number of occasions and performed his recitals in front of crowds at the museum in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Footage of those performances have since made it onto video-sharing website YouTube.

Ms Shi, who is originally from China and is now teaching her son at home, said more needs to be done in the UK to get young children engaged with the works of Shakespeare.

She explained: “Most people think Shakespeare is so refined [that] you have to introduce it to children later when they are able to understand it. But children can appreciate the beauty of the language.

“Jai is able to appreciate Shakespeare but that’s not because he’s a genius. He’s just been given the chance to access Shakespeare.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Mayor of Haringey Cllr Jennifer Mann, signs Hornsey Pensioners Action group's Dignity Action Day petition  calling for Better Care Now! Photo: Nigel Sutton

Intrepid members of Hornsey Pensioners’ Action Group braved Storm Henry to call for the rights of elderly people as part of Dignity Action Day on February 1.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Highgate Society debated the economics of austerity with Vicky Pryce, and Ewen Stewart with students, Benedict Milner from Highgate School and Zelda Feldman from La Sainte Union School.

Vicky Pryce, the Greek-born economist who was jailed for perverting the course of justice, told an audience in Highgate last night that austerity is not the answer to the UK’s economic problems.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Lynne Featherstone celebrates the release of her book Equal Ever After outoside the House of Lords. Photo: Polly Hancock

Lynne Featherstone, former MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, didn’t waste much time after losing her seat in the Lib Dem cull of last year’s general election.

Saturday, February 6, 2016
The Queen Mother opening the hospice

It is a national charity which traces its roots to Hampstead – and now it is appealing for new recruits in its hospice.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Crouch End neighbourhood forum members Dave Winskill, Sally Mustoe & Mark Afford

Friday, February 5, 2016
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Friday, February 5, 2016
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Friday, February 5, 2016
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe