DOZENS of schoolchildren will appear on stage at the prestigious Roundhouse Theatre in Camden later this month in a Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) project centred on the world famous playwright.

Six west London schools, led by Hounslow's Lampton School and also including Chiswick Community College, Strand-on-the-Green and Springwell Junior, are taking part in the RSC's 2008 Playback Project.

Now in its ninth year, the scheme encourages students to devise a short piece of theatre based on the themes and characters in Shakespeare's plays.

This year pupils will work on their responses to Henry IV Parts One & Two and Henry V in a series of workshops at each school in the coming weeks.

They will then showcase their efforts in front of a specially invited audience at the landmark London venue on May19.

The classes kicked off last month at a school in Brent, and came to Lampton on Monday, where two classes of year seven and eight pupils are participating.

"Lampton is the hub school in the London Playback project," said deputy headteacher Susan Casey.

"The project aims to provide students with opportunities to engage with Shakespeare's plays and perform short pieces devised around them."

The initiative is partly funded by the John Lyons charity, which is dedicated to enhancing the life chances of young people - in particular ethnic minorities - through education.