All The World’s A Stage – #Shakespeare400

By | 01/27/2016

Lots of Shakespeare events happening at the Globe & around the globe. All the world’s a stage, indeed.

I’ll be putting together a page of relevant links but check out the hashtag #Shakespeare400 on Twitter for a ton of links to info, online exhibits, schedules of performances, etc. Here are a few quick highlights I’ve made a note of:

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  • Shakespeare’s Globe is throwing themselves into the 1616-2016 of it all  with great abandon – as one would expect. They have a year long series of events and performances to mark the occasion.
  • For cinema lovers, there is a partnership between the British Film Institute and the British Council called “Shakespeare on Film” that takes 18 major film adaptations of Shakespeare on a tour of over 100 countries around the world. There will also be extesive screenings at BFI Southbank in London (fabulous to visit in any case)and in cinemas across the UK. If you like geographical context with your movie going, there is also film festival in Stratford-on-Avon.
  • If you are in the Chicago area, you are in luck! Shakespeare 400 Chicago celebrates everything Shakespeare with a yearlong arts festival in 2016.
  • If you feel like staying home and doing your Bardish celebrating in your PJs and slippers, there’s The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses, Henry VI part 1 & 2 with Hugh Bonneville, Sophie Okonedo, Michael Gambon, Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch and is due to be broadcast on BBC Two in April.


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  • The Stratford Festival (That’s the Stratford in Ontario, Canada) is presenting “Breath of Kings” – taking four of Shakespeare’s plays into two, focusing on the relevance of political dynasties.
  • The Folger Library in D.C. is sending first printed collection of Shakespeare’s plays on a tour to all 50 states.
  • New Orleans is giving Shakespeare with a jazz funeral to welcome the First Folio (to be displayed in May at Tulane). If you don’t know about jazz funerals, you definitely need to read up. This is no small undertaking

There’s many other events planned all over the world and I will definitely be keeping on top of them so check back and see what may well be happening in your neck of the woods. For my part, I am determined that the Modern Parlance blog network should also play a bit part in the festivities. And so:

  • there will be Bardish bites discussed on Fabulous Foodie, building upon the Shakespearean Noshes piece from the archives
  • there will be travel notes and virtual sightseeing on Greater Gotham Going Global – and what could be more global than a playwright who has been translated into 80 some odd languages?
  • Shakespeare’s contributions to the English language could keep a single blog going for years – and while I don’t intend to go that far, it will certainly be a well-covered topic here on Personal Parlance

And last but not least, I have my own specific contribution to the world of Shakespeareana: An ebook edition of a classic of 19th-century literary criticism – William Hazlitt’s Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays. I’ve taken the original text – quite brilliant and worth reading on its own, truth be told – and paired it with paintings, engravings and photographs of Shakespearean characters portrayed by leading artists of the mid-18th to early 20th century, including some Hazlitt himself may well have seen.

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These images and additional notes explaining the who, what and when are intended not only for clarification but I hope will serve as a helpful and interesting guide to the treasure trove of imagery we have of the remarkable characters that Hazlitt examines in such detail.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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