Category Archives: Legacy

“This is the day!” Garrick’s Jubilee at 250

250 years ago today, on Weds 6 September 1769, David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee began in Stratford-upon-Avon, the first Festival celebrating Shakespeare in the world. Even before it started there were many critics of the whole idea who were ready to … Continue reading

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Sir Simon Russell Beale

I was delighted to hear, a few weeks ago, that actor Simon Russell Beale has been awarded a knighthood. I’ve always enjoyed seeing him on stage and television, in particular watching him taking on many of Shakespeare’s most challenging roles. … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and the moon

It’s fifty years since the first moon landing in July 1969, and most people who were alive at the time must have memories of it. My father woke me up to watch Neil Armstrong become the first human ever to … Continue reading

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Sam Wanamaker’s centenary

14 June 2019 is the centenary of the birth of an unlikely hero of the British theatre, Sam Wanamaker. Most closely associated with Shakespeare’s Globe, which was built largely because of the force of his personality, Wanamaker was also a … Continue reading

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Shakespeare and National Walking Month

It’s still National Walking Month, when everyone is encouraged to get out and increase the amount of walking they do. We don’t all have lovely countryside to walk around so inevitably some of our walks are a bit mundane. Over … Continue reading

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Walking with Simon Armitage and Shakespeare

Congratulations to Simon Armitage, who was appointed Poet Laureate on 11 May 2019. It’s a strange job, nominally the official court poet, though these days it isn’t important to write new poems for royal occasions. It’s definitely an honour to … Continue reading

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Births, baptisms and burials

I wrote in 2014 about the documentary records of Shakespeare’s baptism at Holy Trinity Church on 26 April 1564. There’s a lot of confusion about the actual date of Shakespeare’s birth, but at the time it was the date of … Continue reading

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Stratford-upon-Avon’s first Black Othellos

It’s 60 years ago, in April 1959, that one of the most important events in the history of the theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon took place. Paul Robeson, the great American singer and actor, became the first black Othello in Shakespeare’s town … Continue reading

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John Hutton’s Shakespeare characters in glass

  One of the first objects on the Antiques Roadshow on Sunday 17 March was a Shakespeare item that I found very familiar, a framed and mirrored glass panel by the artist John Hutton featuring the character of Hamlet. Hutton’s … Continue reading

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Giving Emilia Lanier her own voice

In 1973, historian A L Rowse declared in Shakespeare the Man that he had solved the greatest mystery in Shakespeare’s life, the identity of the Dark Lady of the Sonnets. She was, he said, Emilia Lanier (Aemilia Lanyer). Rowse’s starting … Continue reading

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