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Upcoming Events

Touchstone aims to list all Shakespeare-related activity in the UK. Please contact us at touchstone@bham.ac.uk or 0121 414 9525 if you have information that should be listed.

March 2014

1 March - . Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  ‘Famous Beyond Words’.  10.00. As part of the 450th anniversary celebrations, a new permanent exhibition ‘Famous Beyond Words’ will explore the extraordinary story of William Shakespeare and invite visitors to discover how and why the boy from Stratford-upon-Avon became a household name all over the world. ‘Famous Beyond Words’, will reveal  how Shakespeare’s work has fascinated people of all ages and backgrounds for four centuries, what sparked his imagination and how he continues to shape our lives today.

2 March – 3 May. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Shakespeare: Theatre screenings from the National Video Archive of Performance’. SPECIAL EVENT: To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth the V&A will present a programme of free screenings of Shakespeare productions, documenting some of the best British productions of the last 20 years. Free event.

3 March-16 May.  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  ‘Shakespeare and His World—MOOC’.  In collaboration with the University of Warwick and futurelearn.com we're excited to offer this fantastic opportunity to find out more about Shakespeare’s background, his influences and his works.  'Shakespeare and his World' is a 10 week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) led by renowned Shakespearean academic Professor Jonathan Bate.  Each week, Professor Bate will examine a particular play and a cultural theme alongside a selection of treasures from the archives here at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The course includes an estimated 5 hours of learning materials per week, so you can engage with as much or as little of the course as you would like.  See website for details.

Until 16 March.  The British Museum.  Room 40.  The Facial Reconstruction of Richard III: Leicester’s Search for a King.  This display combines the facial depiction of Richard III’s head with two objects from the British Museum’s permanent collection relating to the king, Richard’s admiralty seal matrix and a boar badge. The facial depiction of King Richard III was created by Professor Caroline Wilkinson and the forensic art team of the University of Dundee. The head is exhibited by kind permission of the Richard III Society as part of a national tour organised by Leicester Arts and Museums Service.  Free.

Until 11 April.  Shakespeare’s Globe.  Graham Clarke’s Theatrickles.  The Globe Exhibition is delighted to present a selection of work by artist, author and humourist Graham Clarke. He is one of Britain’s most popular printmakers, best known for his limited-edition, hand-printed etchings with their distinctive arched-tops, celebrating the beauty and comedy of English rural life. “I met Sam Wanamaker several times at my studio in Kent, in the early 1970s, when the Globe was his great dream. 40 years later it is a pleasure to exhibit my work here, now that his dream has become a reality.‘Theatrickles’ is a collection of my work, expressing my love of history in general and Shakespeare in particular.” Admission to this temporary display is included in your ticket to the Globe Exhibition.  10am-5:30pm, Monday to Sunday.

3 March.  National Theatre.  Olivier Theatre.  Lear – An Imperfect Mind with Mike Brearley and Laurie Maguire.  I fear I am not in my perfect mind.’ The psychoanalyst, Mike Brearley, and the academic, Laurie Maguire, discuss Shakespeare’s understanding of the complexities of the human mind, as seen in King Lear.  Chaired by Michael Billington.  5:30pm.  Tickets £4 (£3 concessions).  Box office: 020 7452 3000.

4 March.  Shakespeare’s Globe.  Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Rarely Scene: The Knight of the Burning Pestle.  By Dr Lucy Munro (King’s College, London).  Leading international early modern scholars provide introductions to the plays in the inaugural Sam Wanamaker Playhouse season. These talks will be illustrated by Globe actors.  6pm.  Tickets £7 (£5 FoSG/concs/students).  Book online, in person, or by phone: 020 7401 9919.

10 March. National Theatre. John Lyon Education Studio. ‘In Context: King Lear’. An in-depth introduction to King Lear led by Dr. Abigail Rokison (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham) with members of the company. The session will focus on Text and Language, (exploring different texts of the play and the choices open to a director, as well as verse vs prose in the play) and Character. There will be some practical work during the session. 2pm. Tickets £20, £15 concessions.

10 March-16 May.  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  ‘Shakespeare and His World—MOOC’.  In collaboration with the University of Warwick and futurelearn.com we're excited to offer this fantastic opportunity to find out more about Shakespeare’s background, his influences and his works.  'Shakespeare and his World' is a 10 week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) led by renowned Shakespearean academic Professor Jonathan Bate.  Each week, Professor Bate will examine a particular play and a cultural theme alongside a selection of treasures from the archives here at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The course includes an estimated 5 hours of learning materials per week, so you can engage with as much or as little of the course as you would like.  See website for details.

11 March. Shakespeare Club Stratford-upon-Avon. 7.45pm, Shakespeare Institute, Mason Croft, Church Street (£15 annual ticket/£3 occasional visitor/free for students). Professor Jonothan Neelands. “Learning Shakespeare by Heart not Off by Heart”.

11 March Shakespeare’s Globe.  Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Rarely Scene: The Knight of the Burning Pestle.  By Dr Emma Smith (University of Oxford).  Leading international early modern scholars provide introductions to the plays in the inaugural Sam Wanamaker Playhouse season. These talks will be illustrated by Globe actors.  6pm.  Tickets £7 (£5 FoSG/concs/students).  Book online, in person, or by phone: 020 7401 9919.

16 March Shakespeare’s Globe.  Sackler Studios, Shakespeare’s Globe.  ‘Rarely Played Seminars’.  Learn more about each of these plays with our inspiring and engaging seminar introductions prior to our Read Not Dead performances.  12-2pm.  Tickets £15 (£13 FoSG/concs/students).  Includes ticket to Read Not Dead performance. 

16 March. Warwick Arts Centre. ‘NT Live: Coriolanus’ 1pm. This is an encore screening of the original live broadcast from Thu 30 Jan. National Theatre Live will broadcast the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, with Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers Assemble, War Horse (film), BBC’s The Hollow Crown) in the title role and Mark Gatiss (Season’s Greetings at the National Theatre, BBC’s Sherlock) as Menenius, directed by the Donmar’s Artistic Director Josie Rourke. Tickets £15.50, £10.50 restricted view.

17-24 March. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust ‘Shakespeare Week’. ‘Shakespeare Week’ is a new national, annual celebration to bring Shakespeare to life vividly for millions of primary school children. Starting in March 2014, Shakespeare Week will be celebrated in schools, theatres, historic sites, museums, galleries, cinemas, and libraries all over the U.K. From the first Shakespeare Week in March 2014, every child will be given the chance to be inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, language and heritage.

18 March.  Shakespeare’s Globe.  Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Rarely Scene: The Knight of the Burning Pestle.  By Dr Lucy Munro (King’s College, London).  Leading international early modern scholars provide introductions to the plays in the inaugural Sam Wanamaker Playhouse season. These talks will be illustrated by Globe actors.  6pm.  Tickets £7 (£5 FoSG/concs/students).  Book online, in person, or by phone: 020 7401 9919.

18 March.  The British Museum.  School gallery session. ‘Shakespeare’s World’. Room 40, 10.30 and 12.00. Age: Key Stage 2. An opportunity to use museum objects to explore the different places and times which feature in Shakespeare's plays, including medieval Britain, the ancient world and Renaissance Europe. Part of Shakespeare Week 2014. Tickets £50. (0)20 7323 8181.

19 March.  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Gardens.  ‘Volunteer Open Event’. 10-2pm. The Gardens team would like to invite prospective volunteers to come along to a drop-in event at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, to find out more about how you might be able to get involved in our volunteer programme. At the event you will have the opportunity to meet the staff and some of our current volunteers, and have a tour of our Gardens. You will also be given an information pack including all of our current volunteer opportunities to take away with you.

21 March.  The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Onstage in the Theatre Auditorium (Royal Shakespeare Theatre).  Director Talks: Henry IV Part One.  5:15-6pm.  We offer talks with members of each production's creative team. These pre-show, onstage events offer a chance to hear the director and/or writer in conversation, revealing some of the influences and decisions that have created the production.  From rehearsal room processes and design choices, to characterisation and relationships this is a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Tickets £5.  Purchase tickets online or by calling the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114.

21 March.  National Theatre.  Olivier Theatre.  Talking Lear Part 4: The Fool, Kent.  The Fool, Kent: Adrian Scarborough and Stanley Townsend talk about the current production and their roles.  Chaired by Fiona Mountford.  Talking Lear. One of a series of interviews with members of the King Lear company, in which they talk about the play and their roles.  3pm.  Tickets £5 (£4 concessions).  Box office: 020 7452 3000.

21 March. V&A. Seminar Room One, Sackler Centre. ‘Shakespeare in Performance’. 11am – 3pm. 4 WEEK SHORT COURSE: Shakespeare is, without doubt, the most produced playwright in British Theatre. His plays form the cornerstone of the classical repertoire. This course will look at how Shakespeare’s plays have survived onstage. It will explore important productions from the past and will also address the questions about how we perform the plays today as well as the challenges they present for actors and audiences from the perspective of a working actor. We will look at the four Shakespearean genre: History, Comedies, Tragedies and the Late Plays. There will be sessions looking at the performance history and actor Andrew Jarvis will explore the text from the perspective of the performer. £200, £170 concessions. Sold out.

22 March – 27 April. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. ‘Shakespeare Week Activities’. We're celebrating Shakespeare Week with family activities at each of the Shakespeare family homes! We're so proud to be launching a national annual celebration bringing Shakespeare to life for primary school children across the UK. To celebrate the very first Shakespeare Week we are offering lots of fun, family activities at the Shakespeare family homes: Every weekend from 22 March 2014 until the Easter holidays. Then from 5-27 April the events will be available everyday from 12-3pm. Activites are included in admission, so these events are free to valid ticketholders!

Shakespeare's Birthplace: ‘Ribbon of Words’. Create a ravel of ribbons by writing down your own invented Shakespearian words and attaching them to the woven trail in the Birthplace Garden.

Mary Arden's Farm: ‘Animal Magic’. There are no unicorns or dragons at the farm - yet. Create your own mythical creatures to add to our farmyard, taking inspiration from our special book 'Topsell’s Beasts – The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents'. Bring your beasts to life by carving them onto Tudor tiles.

Anne Hathaway's Cottage & Gardens: ‘Oberon's Bank of Flowers’.‘I know a bank where the wild thyme blows...’ Make your own fantasy flowers from recycled materials and plant them in Anne's garden. 

New Place & Nash's House: ‘Make a Character’. Make your own Shakespearian characters to add to the cast in the ‘mini theatre’ at the back of the parlour. Your own decorated character could even be linked into our Film Festival which is taking place from 1 – 5 October 2014. 

Hall's Croft: ‘Spots and Boils’.Transform yourself into a plague victim with our face painters and learn all about the diseases that afflicted both rich and poor in Jacobean England.

31 March. V&A. Meeting Point, Grand Entrance. ‘Shakespeare at the V&A’. 1pm. GALLERY TALK: In the 450th anniversary year of William Shakespeare's birth, find out more about the range of objects in the V&A collections connected to his work. From costumes to posters and memorabilia and film, discover how the Bard's plays have been interpreted and how they continue to inspire new artists. Free event.

April 2014

6 April. Shakespeare’s Globe. ‘Sam Wannamaker Festival’. 4pm. Students from the UK’s leading drama schools present scenes by Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the Globe Theatre. The public performance offers a heady mix of tragical, historical, pastoral and comical scenes culminating in one mighty festive finale jig. The annual festival is a springboard for aspiring actors. Several participants have jigged their way straight into the Globe theatre company and have started their professional careers on the Globe stage. Tickets: £5 standing, £10 seated. Book online, in person, or by phone: +44 (0)20 7401 9919.

7 April.  The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Onstage in the Theatre Auditorium (Royal Shakespeare Theatre).  Director Talks: Henry IV Part Two.  5:15-6pm.  We offer talks with members of each production's creative team. These pre-show, onstage events offer a chance to hear the director and/or writer in conversation, revealing some of the influences and decisions that have created the production.  From rehearsal room processes and design choices, to characterisation and relationships this is a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Tickets £5.  Purchase tickets online or by calling the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114.

7 April. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. SPECIAL EVENT: Propeller’s Pocket Henry V tells the heroic tale of England’s greatest warrior. Watch as Henry prepares to lead England into battle against a mighty French opponent with his band of brave, loyal brothers. Sharp English weapons combine with Shakespeare’s noble words to bring history to life in this pocket-sized show for young audiences. After their international tour of Henry V, Edward Hall’s acclaimed all-male company brings this legendary story to the stage in a 60 minute re-imagining, followed by an interactive talkback session with the cast. An inspiring introduction to Shakespeare. Tickets £12, £5 concessions.

8 April. Shakespeare Club Stratford-upon-Avon. 7.45pm, Shakespeare Institute, Mason Croft, Church Street (£15 annual ticket/£3 occasional visitor/free for students). Dr. Nick Walton and Amanda Jenkins. “Muse of Fire: A Shakespeare Entertainment”.

10 April The Society for Theatre Research.  Swedenborg Hall, Holborn, London.  LECTURE: Macready & Forrest: A Fatal Controversy; Or, It Started with a Hiss.  Presented by Professor Michael Gaunt.  Chair: Dr Michael Read.  William Charles Macready was one of the great English nineteenth-century actors and Edwin Forrest is acknowledged as the first great American-born actor. Michael Gaunt will discuss their individual acting styles, their friendship and increasingly public rivalry. 7:30 pm.  Free.

12 – 27 April. V&A. Theatre and performance. ‘Pop-up performance: Bottom’s Dream: Easter holidays’. 11am, 1 and 5pm. FAMILY EVENT: Enter the world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and help Bottom solve the mystery of the woods. Performances take place on the following days: Saturday 12 April, Friday 18 - Monday 21 April, Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 April. Free event.

14 April The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Onstage in the Theatre Auditorium (The Swan Theatre).  Director Talks: The Roaring Girl.  5:15-6pm.  We offer talks with members of each production's creative team. These pre-show, onstage events offer a chance to hear the director and/or writer in conversation, revealing some of the influences and decisions that have created the production.  From rehearsal room processes and design choices, to characterisation and relationships this is a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Tickets £5.  Purchase tickets online or by calling the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114.

15 April.  Shakespeare’s Globe.  Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Rarely Scene: The Malcontent.  By Professor Michael Cordner (University of York).  Leading international early modern scholars provide introductions to the plays in the inaugural Sam Wanamaker Playhouse season. These talks will be illustrated by Globe actors.  6pm.  Tickets £7 (£5 FoSG/concs/students).  Book online, in person, or by phone: 020 7401 9919.

18 April. V&A. Art Studio, Sackler Centre. ‘CreateInsights: Behind the Shakespeare Festival’. 6.30 – 8pm. YOUNG PEOPLE'S EVENT: Find out about the Shakespeare Festival, learn about the organisation process and the challenges of preparing this large scale event.16 – 24yrs. Free event.

18 – 27 April. V&A. Medieval and Renaissance, Room 64B. ‘The Imagination Station’. 10.30 – 5pm. FAMILY EVENT: Set the scene and help design the enchanted wood from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Free event.

22 – 25 April. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Shakespeare 4 Kids – Easter Holidays’. 11am 1 and 3pm’ FAMILY EVENT: Experience love and magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the acclaimed theatre company Shakespeare 4 Kidz. Free event.

23 April. V&A. Art Studio, Sackler Centre. ‘Create! Make a Costume’. 11am. EVENT FOR 13 -15 YEAR OLDS: As part of the V&A’s Shakespeare Festival, this three-day course will be based on responding to design briefs given to professional costume designers. From the text, you will design, cut a pattern and make a costume for a Shakespearean character in either a historical or contemproray setting. With Costume Designer Dean Blunkell. Tickets £45. Online booking.

23 – 29 April. V&A. Theatre and Performance. ‘Gallery Tour: Shakespeare greatest living playwright’. FREE TOUR: Join Victoria Broackes, Head of Exhibitions, Theatre and Performance Department, for a curator tour curator of this immersive installation, which celebrates the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Monday 23 April, 12.00 – 12.30. Tuesday 29 April, 4 – 4.30pm.

24 April. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. ‘Singing Shakespeare Launch Concert’. 7.30pm. To launch ‘Singing Shakespeare’, our new global project celebrating choral settings of Shakespeare’s works, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is proud to present a special concert to be held in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. Featuring the world premieres of three brand new and innovative choral settings by award winning composer Gary Carpenter, a setting of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Fear no more’ in a new arrangement by David Wordsworth, artistic director of Singing Shakespeare, who will also conduct the combined choirs and soloists from the Birmingham Conservatoire in a performance of Vaughan Williams’ ‘Serenade to Music’. Adults £12 and concessions £9 (children 5-17, students in full time education and over 60s).

25 April. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. ‘Shakespeare Birthday Lecture’. 2014 Birthday Lecture with Michael Bogdanov. Join Michael Bogdanov as he talks to Paul Edmondson about his illustrious career directing Shakespeare which spans more than 40 years. During this time he has always tried to be cutting-edge, often controversial, and believes in performing Shakespeare in modern-dress. In his view this makes the plays more relevant to our own times and allows us to ourselves in them more. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was delighted when Michael Bogdanov deposited a wonderful cache of papers in our archive to sit alongside the archives of the RSC and to show how differently Shakespeare can be performed. Some of these items will be on display at the Institute before the lecture begins. 4pm - 5pm, The Shakespeare Institute. Tickets cost £10 and are available to purchase online or at any of the Shakespeare Houses.

26 April. V&A, The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Lunchtime Lecture: What Shall We do About the Witches?’ 1pm. LUNCHTIME LECTURE: When James I was king, the Witches in Macbeth must have presented a terrifying spectacle. In the centuries following, as the supernatural lost some of its power in the popular imagination, they began to be regarded as comic. How do modern directors and actors re-inject some horror into interpretations of the Weird Sisters? With examples from recent productions, theatre critic Heather Neill considers some of the varied roles – sinister purveyors of double-speak, wild voodoo dancers, glassy-eyed clairvoyants – which have set the mood of "the Scottish play". Free event.

26 April. V&A. Seminar Room Three. ‘Live Literature Performance Workshop: Romeo and Juliet’. 11 am. SPECIAL EVENT: Join The Live Literature Company for an experiential workshop focussing on the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, using a range of different performance techniques. Over the course of the workshop the group will analyse and perform the scene physically, emotionally and psychologically, from three perspectives: Acting the scene – led by Valerie Doulton, Founder and Artistic Director of The Live Literature Company. Dancing the scene – led by professional dancer, Lucy Casson, and Commedia dell’Arte specialist, Barry Grantham. Free event, ticket required; 0207 942 2211.

26-27 April.  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations 2014.  Festivities start with the grand Birthday Procession which parades through the historic spine of Stratford and finishes with the laying of flowers on Shakespeare’s grave at Holy Trinity Church.  A community parade follows and spectators can join the throng of costumed players, musicians and creative groups to celebrate this milestone anniversary.  There will be a programme of special events and activities at the five Shakespeare family homes, and free entertainment in the streets and parks of Stratford.

27 April.  Shakespeare’s Globe.  Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre and Sam Wannamaker Playhouse.  John Lyly and the Children’s Companies Repetoire.  Once more popular than Shakespeare, Early Modern playwright John Lyly fell out of favour and into near obscurity in the late 17th century.  Globe Education has been spear-heading a Lyly revival with the help of scholars and theatre artists. All of Lyly’s plays have been directed by James Wallace with adult actors as part of Globe Education’s ongoing Read Not Dead project.  The Lyly revival continues with a day of public workshops and talks from actors, directors and leading Lyly scholars that will include Andy Kesson, Lucy Munro, Peter Saccio, Leah Scragg and James Wallace.  Lyly wrote his plays for boy actors and the day will end with a full production of Lyly’s genre-defying Galatea given by Edward’s Boys and directed by Perry Mills.  The globally preeminent boy’s company from King Edward VI School (KES), Shakespeare’s own grammar school, has established an international reputation for its exploration of plays written for boy actors.  This production will launch Globe Education’s first season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.  12pm-6pm.  Performance at 7pm.  Tickets £50 (£40 FoSG/cons/students).  Book online, in person, or by phone: 020 7401 9919.

27 April. V&A. Seminar Room Three. ‘Multicultural Shakespeare: Debate 1 - Acting Shakespeare: Who’s Playing Who?’ 11am. Join Professor Tony Howard and a panel of inspiring speakers for a day of talks exploring what Shakespeare means in today’s multicultural Britain, and how Black and Asian artistic communities are responding to the Bard and his work. This event is coordinated by the University of Warwick’s AHRC-funded project, Multicultural Shakespeare: 1930-2010. Tickets: £8, £5 concenssions. £12 for both debates.

27 April. V&A. Seminar Room Three. ‘‘Multicultural Shakespeare: Debate 2 - A Cultural Crossroads’ 2.30pm. Join Professor Tony Howard and a panel of inspiring speakers for a day of talks exploring what Shakespeare means in today’s multicultural Britain, and how Black and Asian artistic communities are responding to the Bard and his work. This event is coordinated by the University of Warwick’s AHRC-funded project, Multicultural Shakespeare: 1930-2010. Tickets: £8, £5 concenssions. £12 for both debates.

28 April. National Theatre. John Lyon Education Studio. ‘King Lear Revealed’. Staff Director Tim Hoare presents an in-depth insight into Sam Mendes’ production of King Lear and the process that the company went through in the rehearsal room. He will be joined by members of the acting company to explore how Shakespeare’s text is brought to life in key scenes from the play. Suitable for KS4 and KS5 students. 2.30-5pm. £5 pr. student (one free teacher place pr. ten students).

28 April. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Propeller Theatre Company workshops: Sound Music!’ 11pm. SPECIAL EVENT: Join Dugald Bruce Lockhart, actor and director, for an ensemble acting workshop that will help each participant to develop their acting choices and depth of characterisation through the practical use of the language and verse. Dynamic, rewarding and fun, the work will centre on a group scene with an approach that encourages the participants to become part of an ensemble, a process which will increase the creativity and range of their story-telling capabilities. Free, ticket required. 0207 942 2211.

28 April. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Propeller Theatre Company workshops: Shakespeare in Performance’ 2pm. SPECIAL EVENT: Join a hands on workshop with actor and musician Jon Trenchard, to learn how the Propeller ensemble create music together during the rehearsal process, and how to tailor the musical life of the play to the specific demands of the text, the design and the actors' performances. Using text from Propeller’s current productions, A Midsummer Night's Dream and A Comedy of Errors, learn how to pick, arrange and perform music suitable for the kind of modern aesthetic of a Propeller production. The focus of the workshop will be to make music together as an ensemble, and to include each actor's musical skills. Open to all young actors (age 18+), regardless of musical skill. If you have an instrument, bring it with you. If you just have a voice, bring that too! Free, booking required. 0207 942 2211.

29 April. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Shakespeare and the Countess’. 3pm. SPECIAL EVENT:  In November 1596 a woman named Elizabeth Russell began a campaign that would nearly destroy Shakespeare’s career and leave him facing financial ruin. Leading an uprising against his theatrical troupe and business partners, she turned his closest friends and allies against him. Join Dr Chris Laoutaris of the Shakespeare Institute as he discusses his latest publication, Shakespeare and the Countess, as part of the V&A’s Shakespeare Festival that marks the 450th anniversary of the playwright's birth. Tickets: £10. Online booking.

May 2014

1 May. Warwick Arts Centre. ‘NT Live: King Lear’ 6.45pm. Sam Mendes returns to the National Theatre to direct Simon Russell Beale in the title role of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Tickets £17.50, £10.50 restricted view. Encore screening 2 June 6.45pm.

1 May. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Janet Suzman Masterclass’ 3pm. SPECIAL EVENT: Join Janet Suzman, award winning actress, director and author, for what she hopes will be a slightly inflammatory talk about the received idea that boys played all of Shakespeare's great female parts, with particular reference to Cleopatra. She will be expanding on two essays she wrote in her fascinating book, Not Hamlet, described by Michael Boyd, former director of the RSC, as "A thoughtful and considered kick up the arse to conspiracy theorists and to the patriarchy". Free event, ticket required. Online booking.

1 - 5 May. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.  ‘May Day Celebrations’. Celebrate May Day in Tudor style down on the farm. 1 May, ‘May Day’. Join us as we greet the Spring with traditional maypole dancing and find out who will be crowned the May King and Queen.

2 May. V&A. SPECIAL EVENT: ‘Shakespeare Tribes’. 12 – 9pm. Join costume design students from the London College of Fashion, Central St Martins, Edinburgh College of Art and Bristol Old Vic, who have created Shakespeare Tribes and claimed ‘territories’ in the museum. The tribes are defined by specific dress, behaviour and performance codes. Follow this living exhibition from space to space to see how the tribes interact with each other and with their environment, questioning the politics of public space, as well as exploring the potential of fantasy and theatricality as expressions of political positions and acts. This project is a part of the SharedSpace project in cooperation with the Prague Quadrennial. Free event.

3 May. V&A. Seminar Room One, Sackler Centre. ‘Propeller Theatre Workshops: Finding Ophelia: Theatre Design Workshop’. 11 am. SPECIAL EVENT: Join Michael Pavelka, award winning stage and costume designer for Propeller Theatre Company, for a practical theatre design workshop. Focussing on the character of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet, you will explore how a theatre designer may start to visualise a moment of drama, work with metaphors, take playful artistic risks, and communicate their work to others. The workshop will include exercises in using space, objects and bodies to physically explore how an audience consciously and subconsciously absorbs visual material in performance, as you begin to turn an iconic theatrical moment inside out. Tickets £5. Online booking.

3 May. V&A. Seminar Room Three. ‘An Audience with Shakespeare’. 11 am. SPECIAL EVENT: Join our speakers for a day at the playhouses in early 17th London. Take and imaginative journey to the Rose and the Globe on the bustling South Bank to learn about social divides and past-times. Witness all the weird and wonderful goodies brought into the playhouses and learn how a theatrical atmosphere was created, as well as what happened after the final act. Speakers include Professor Tiffany Stern, Professor Andrew Gurr and Professor Martin White. £45, £35 concessions, £15 students. Online booking.

3 May. V&A, The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Black Shakespeare: Film Screening and Panel Discussion’. 3.30pm. SPECIAL EVENT: Join historian Dr Rodreguez King-Dorset, Researcher in African Performance at Cambridge University's Centre of African Studies, for an exclusive event investigating the role of black actors in Shakespeare. The afternoon will begin with a screening of Black Shakespeare, an hour long documentary written and narrated by Dr King-Dorset, and drawing on archive resources from the V&A Theatre & Performance Collections and beyond. The film celebrates the first generation of black British theatre pioneers working on Shakespearian plays in London from the 1950s, with particular focus on the work of Talawa Theatre Company. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Dr King-Dorset and special guests including Yvonne Brewster. Free event.

3 - 5 May. ‘Strictly Tudor Dancing’. Take part in our Tudor dance-off to celebrate May Day Bank Holiday weekend. Learn historic dances, from The Dump to The Buffoon, and then see how high your judges' scores will be. Can you fight off the competition and be crowned the winner of Strictly Tudor Dancing? These events are included as part of normal admission, so if you already have a valid ticket you can come along for free!

4 May. V&A. Seminar Room One, Sackler Centre. ‘Marchpane to Mutton: A Taste of Shakespeare’s Time’. 2pm. SPECIAL EVENT: Experience the tastes and smells of Elizabethan food with food historian Tasha Marks. As you sample sweets and spices Tasha will explain and discuss the range of foods and ingredients that people would have eaten in late 16th and early 17th century daily fare and celebratory feasts, and learn about the way in which flavours were combined and appreciated. Free. Advanced booking essential. Online booking.

4 May. V&A. The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre. ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’ 3pm. SPECIAL EVENT: Join singers and instrumentalists from the Royal College of Music, and Shakespearean actor Ian Hughes, for a delightful afternoon of music and readings inspired by Shakespeare. Within the stunning surroundings of the Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre you can hear Beethoven’s second string quartet, inspired by the tomb scene from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Royal College of Music Composition Professor Joseph Horovitz’s dramatic scena Lady Macbeth. Also on the programme is the beautiful second collection of Shakespearean settings by English composer Roger Quilter. Tickets £5. Online booking.

5 May.  The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Onstage in the Theatre Auditorium (The Swan Theatre).  Director Talks: Arden of Faversham.  5:15-6pm.  We offer talks with members of each production's creative team. These pre-show, onstage events offer a chance to hear the director and/or writer in conversation, revealing some of the influences and decisions that have created the production.  From rehearsal room processes and design choices, to characterisation and relationships this is a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Tickets £5.  Purchase tickets online or by calling the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114.

8 May. Warwick Arts Centre. Cinema. ‘King Lear – Korol Lir’ 2.30pm. Grigori Kozintsev’s black and white King Lear is set in a stark landscape of windswept moors and marshes, bare castles and wandering beggars. Kozintsev, a master Russian director, assembled a cast of great actors for this Shakespearean project. Lear is played by the thin, tall, gaunt-looking Estonian actor Jüri Järvet who fully conveys Lear’s power and his growing madness and despair. The well-known Shostakovich score underpins the drama of Shakespeare’s great tragedy. Tickets: £5.10. Online booking.

14 May. Warwick Arts Centre. ‘RSC Live: King Henry IV part 1’ 6.45pm. Following his production of Richard II in October 2013, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran continues his exploration of Shakespeare’s history plays with Henry IV Parts I and II, an epic, comic and thrilling vision of a nation in turmoil. RSC Associate Artist Antony Sher returns to the Company to play the infamous comic knight Falstaff. He is joined by Jasper Britton as Henry IV and Alex Hassell as Prince Hal. Jasper returns following his performance as the Marquis de Sade in Marat/Sade (2011); Alex returns to the RSC following his recent credits in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Cardenio and The City Madam. Tickets £17.50, £10.50 restricted view. Encore screening 27 May 6.45pm.

20 May. The Society for Theatre Research.  Swedenborg Hall, Holborn, London.  LECTURE: Indoors and no heavy lifting.  Presented by Professor Richard Foulkes.  Chair: tba.  Outgoing chairman Richard Foulkes reflects on his experiences as a theatre historian: the great collections (and some of their curators), sources of funding, the vagaries of publication, career prospects, distinguished colleagues, doctoral supervisions, technological changes (from card index to the internet) and the contribution of the Society for Theatre Research. Richard Foulkes is Emeritus Professor of Theatre History, University of Leicester. His publications include The Shakespeare Tercentenary of 1864The Calverts Actors of Some Importance and (ed) Scenes from Provincial Stages Essays in Honour of Kathleen Barker – all published by the Society for Theatre Research; and Church and stage in Victorian EnglandPerforming Shakespeare in the Age of Empire and Lewis Carroll and the Victorian Stage Theatricals in a Quiet Life. He first contributed to Theatre Notebook in 1968/9 and most recently in 2011. 7:30 pm.  Free.

24 May – 1 June. Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. ‘May Half Term at Shakespeare’s Family Homes’. We've got extra family friendly activities taking place at Shakespeare's Family Homes from 24 May - 1 Jun, so come and join in the fun! All of these events are included in admission, so if you already have a valid ticket you can come along for free!

Shakespeare's Birthplace: ‘Words, Words, Words’. 24 May - 1 June. Do you know your Shakespeare from your Shelley? Test your knowledge with our quizzical quotes.

Mary Arden's Farm: ‘Tudor Wedding Festival’. 24 - 26 May. Join our Tudor bride and groom as they prepare to tie the knot and be a guest at their traditional Tudor Hand Fasting Ceremony. With music, games and a wedding feast, it promises to be quite a party!

‘Woolly Week’. 27 May - 1 June. It's shearing time down on the farm. Get involved with all things woolly and enjoy our exciting sheep dog trials.

New Place & Nash's House: ‘Masque Making’ 24 May - 1 June. Be inspired and decorate your very own theatrical Shakespearian masque to take home with you.

Hall's Croft: ‘Spring to Life’ 24 May - 1 June. Search the walled garden and hunt for the animals that appear in Shakespeare's spring time poems.

31 May – 2 August. Shakespeare’s Globe, Sackler Studios. ‘Story Days’. Dynamic and unforgettable retellings of Shakespeare’s stories by Globe Education story tellers, suitable for the whole family. (Advised for 6+). A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: Saturday 31 May. ANTONY & CLEOPATRA: Saturday 14 June. JULIUS CAESAR: Saturday 12 July. TITUS ANDRONICUS: Saturday 2 August. 11 and 2pm. Tickets £15 (one adult and one child) – additional tickets £8. Book online, in person, or by phone: +44 (0)20 7401 9919.

July 2014

17 July.  The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Onstage in the Theatre Auditorium (Royal Shakespeare Theatre).  Director Talks: The Two Gentleman of Verona..  5:15-6pm.  We offer talks with members of each production's creative team. These pre-show, onstage events offer a chance to hear the director and/or writer in conversation, revealing some of the influences and decisions that have created the production.  From rehearsal room processes and design choices, to characterisation and relationships this is a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Tickets £5.  Purchase tickets online or by calling the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114.

August 2014

5 August.  The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Onstage in the Theatre Auditorium (The Swan Theatre).  Director Talks: The White Devil.  5:15-6pm.  We offer talks with members of each production's creative team. These pre-show, onstage events offer a chance to hear the director and/or writer in conversation, revealing some of the influences and decisions that have created the production.  From rehearsal room processes and design choices, to characterisation and relationships this is a fascinating insight into the creative process.  Tickets £5.  Purchase tickets online or by calling the RSC Ticket Hotline: 0844 800 1114.

 

 

 

 


 

 


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