A special performance of the new original score by Robin Harris for Sven Garde’s 1920 production of Hamlet, one of the most absorbing and innovative Shakespearean film adaptations of the silent period.

Danish diva Asta Nielsen stars with a powerful, alluring performance as the Prince of Denmark. Born a girl but brought up as a boy, she discovers the truth about Claudius and her mother the Queen and seeks to avenge her Father’s death.

With live musical accompaniment by Robin Harris and Laura Anstee.

Germany 1920 Dir Sven Garde

Commissioned by the Société Française Shakespeare for Shakespeare’s 450th birthday.


Throughout 2016, the London Shakespeare Centre will present talks, debates, performances, film screenings and much more, as part of Shakespeare 400, a consortium of leading cultural, creative and educational institutions in and around London, together creating a season of events during 2016 to celebrate four hundred years of Shakespeare.

3 February – 29 May
By Me William Shakespeare
An exhibition, co-curated by The National Archives and the London Shakespeare Centre at King’s, exploring what Shakespeare’s will and other unique documents tell us about Shakespeare.
Inigo Rooms, Somerset House East Wing

Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 February 2016
King’s Shakespeare Festival Weekend

Thursday 11 February, 19.00-20.30
On Shakespeare’s Sonnets – A Poets’ Celebration
An evening to celebrate the publication of the anthology, On Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Poets’ Celebration, edited by Hannah Crawforth and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann, with poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Paul Muldoon, Simon Armitage, Jo Shapcott and many others.
Great Hall, King’s Building, Strand Campus

Thursday 11 February, 20.30-21.30
A Celebration of Shakespeare in 20th Century Music
Ashley Riches (baritone) and Emma Abbate (piano) perform a selection of Shakespeare songs.
Strand Campus

Friday 12 February, 17.00-18.00
Remembering and forgetting in 1916: the Shakespeare Tercentenary and the First World War
A lecture by Professor Gordon McMullan, Director of the London Shakespeare Centre
Strand Campus

Friday 12 February, 18.00-19.00
Digital Shakespeare
In this talk Jonathan Hope, Professor of Literary Linguistics at Strathclyde University, explores how simple digital techniques can confirm, and challenge, things we think we know about Shakespeare, through analysis of the texts.
Strand Campus

Friday 12 February, 19.30-20.30
The Year of Shakespeare: The Writing Life
A Q&A with renowned Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, in conversation with Gordon McMullan
Strand Campus

Saturday 13 February, 13.00-15.00
Domestic Shakespeare: Lecture and Performance Workshop
A lecture by Lena Cowen Orlin, on ‘The Second-Best Bed’ followed by an exploration by professional actors and King’s academics of the glimpses we see of Shakespeare’s life through the brief records he left behind.
Strand Campus

Saturday 13 February, 15.00-16.00
Still Shakespeare: Artists’ Short Animations
A presentation of five artists’ short animated films, in development, inspired by Shakespeare’s mst famous plays. Presented by Film London
Strand Campus

Saturday 13 February, 16.00-17.00
Making Hamlet New
Ann Thompson and Neil Taylor describe the critical reception their original edition provoked. Their talk will be illustrated by actors performing excerpts from the play in its various texts.
Strand Campus

Saturday 13 February, 17.00-18.30
States of mind: Tom O’Bedlam and Early Modern Attitudes to Mental Health
A multidisciplinary reflection on the character Tom O’Bedlam in song, history and lived experience.
Strand Campus

Saturday 13 February, 19.00-20.00
Marjorie Garber: Desperately Seeking Shakespeare
Acclaimed Shakespeare scholar Marjorie Garber talks about the quest to find something about Shakespeare that would explain his astonishing accomplishment.
Strand Campus

Saturday 13 February, 20.00-21.00
‘I love a ballad’ – Shakespeare Songs in the 19th Century
An evening of song and scholarship with Oskar Cox Jensen.
Council Room, Strand Campus

Sunday 14 February, 15.00-17.00
Shakespeare’s Sister Performance
A staged reading of a new play by Emma Whipday imagining the problems that would face a woman playwright in Shakespeare’s London, marking publication of the play by Samuel French.
Strand Campus

Sunday 14 February, 18.00-19.00
David Scott Kastan: Shakespeare’s Will
A lecture by renowned Shakespearean and Yale Professor Kastan reflecting on the materials in the ‘By Me William Shakespeare’ exhibition.
Strand Campus

Sunday 14 February, 19.30-21.00
Simon Russell Beale in Conversation
Acclaimed Shakespearean actor Simon Russell Beale in conversation with Sonia Massai
Strand Campus
Beyond the Festival

February-May 2016 (open during campus hours)
Shakespeare in 1916
Entrance Hall Cabinets, Strand campus
This exhibition highlights how Shakespeare was remembered in 1916 and how he was studied, including materials from the SKeat and Furnival collections.

Friday 26 February, 18.00-20.30
In Nature’s Mystery More Science: ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’
Lucas Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus
The Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences presents a screening of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard (inspired by Hamlet) with a post-screening talk, exploring science in Shakespeare.
Currently open to KCL staff and students.

Friday 11- Saturday 12 March 2016
Beaumont400 Conference and Performance
Friday 11 – Saturday 12 March
Beaumont400 Conference
Edward J Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus

Saturday 12 March, 19.30-21.30
A performance of The Woman Hater
Chapel, Strand Campus

Wednesday 16 March 2016, 18.00
Shakespeare and the Law Moot
Inner Temple
Bear witness to a mock Shakespearean court case, as students of the Law School at King’s present their arguments. Arbitrators will be Lord Judge, Lady Justice Arden and Dean David Caron.
Cost: £15 (free to KCL students) – book via our estore

Wednesday 16 March 2016, 18.00-20.30
In Nature’s Mystery More Science: ‘Forbidden Planet’
Lucas Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus
The Faculty of Natural and Mathematical Sciences presents a screening of Forbidden Planet (based on the Tempest) with a post screening talk, exploring science in Shakespeare..
Currently open to KCL staff and students.

Saturday 16 April 2016
Shakespeare’s Musical Brain Conference
Great Hall, Strand Campus

Spring 2016
Brazilian Ensemble Performance: “Canções Cortesãs”
Three songs and a melologue for soprano and string orchestra – on Shakespeare sonnets.
Strand Campus

Thursday 16 June – Saturday 24 September 2016
(Monday – Friday, 9.30-17.00, Saturday 10.00-18.00)
‘The very age and body of the time’: Shakespeare’s world
Weston Room, Maughan Library, Chancery Lane
Exhibition of archive material looking at different aspects of Shakespeare’s world, including Shakespeare’s London, the New World, Medicine and Religion.

Thursday 21 – Friday 22 July 2016
1616 – The Secrets and Passions of William Shakespeare
Transatlantyk2 present their acclaimed new one-man play, which dramatically recreates Shakespeare’s, life, loves and works.
Greenwood Theatre, Guy’s Campus

Sunday 31 July – Saturday 6 August
World Shakespeare Congress: Creating and Re-creating Shakespeare
The 2016 World Shakespeare Congress – four hundred years after the playwright’s death – will celebrate Shakespeare’s memory and the global cultural legacy of his works.
Stratford-upon-Avon and London

Stratford-upon-Avon and London

The International Shakespeare Association invites you to Stratford-upon-Avon and London for its Tenth World Shakespeare Congress:
‘Creating and Re-Creating Shakespeare’

The 2016 World Shakespeare Congress – four hundred years after the playwright’s death – will celebrate Shakespeare’s memory and the global cultural legacy of his works. Uniquely, ambitiously, fittingly, this quatercentenary World Congress will be based in not just one but two locations: in Shakespeare’s birthplace, and final resting-place, Stratford-upon-Avon; and in the city where he made his name and where his genius flourished—London.

The 2016 hosts – in Stratford, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute; in London, Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Shakespeare Centre, King’s College London – look forward to welcoming delegates from around the world to share in a range of cultural and intellectual opportunities in the places where Shakespeare was born, acted, wrote and died.

Paris and London

Shakespeare Lives, un programme international célébrant l’oeuvre de Shakespeare et son influence (de janvier à décembre 2016)

Le British Council et la campagne GREAT Britain annoncent le lancement de Shakespeare Lives, un programme international d’envergure pour célébrer l’œuvre de Shakespeare et son influence sur la culture, l’éducation et la société, à l’occasion du 400ème anniversaire de sa mort. Le programme permettra à des millions de personnes dans plus de 140 pays de participer à des projets en ligne inédits, d’assister à des nouvelles productions des pièces de Shakespeare, des projections de films, des expositions et des lectures publiques, et d’avoir accès à des ressources éducatives.

Célébrant l’influence durable de l’un des dramaturges et poètes les plus célèbres au monde, Shakespeare Lives ne sera pas seulement un hommage à son héritage international, mais démontrera également combien les récits, les sujets et la langue de son oeuvre sont pertinents dans le monde actuel et doivent continuer à faire partie de la vie des générations futures. Dès ses premières pièces, Shakespeare a inspiré des générations – dirigeants du monde, écrivains, cinéastes, artistes, compositeurs, se sont tournés vers Shakespeare pour mener une réflexion sur leur vie et leur époque, et pour changer le cours de l’histoire.

Shakespeare Lives a été rendu possible grâce à un nombre de partenaires et de collaborations sans précédent, entre le British Council et les partenaires et organisations de la campagne GREAT Britain, tels que la BBC, le British Film Institute, le National Theatre, la Royal Shakespeare Company, le consortium Shakespeare 400, le Shakespeare Birthplace Trust et le Shakespeare’s Globe. Alors que la moitié des élèves dans le monde étudient Shakespeare, il y a encore 250 millions d’enfants qui ne savent ni lire ni écrire. Le partenariat entre Shakespeare Lives et Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), l’organisation caritative britannique, soutiendra les actions de cette organisation pour permettre à davantage d’enfants d’avoir accès à l’éducation dans le monde.


Reference: Hendley, Matthew C.
‘Cultural mobilization and British responses to cultural transfer in total war: the Shakespeare tercentenary of 1916’
First World War Studies, 3:1 (2012), p. 25-49

This article examines the important role William Shakespeare played in Britain’s experience of total war during the First World War. In the first two years of the war, individual scholars, cultural critics and a rich array of associations in Britain helped rally British public opinion in support of the war. As a cultural symbol of Englishness, William Shakespeare was a perfect vehicle for this self-mobilization process. The coincidence of the three hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1916 and the demands of total war led to differing uses of Shakespeare as a vehicle for cultural self-mobilization in Britain. What makes Shakespeare an especially fascinating example of the role of culture in wartime is that his universality as a cultural symbol also made him a key figure for cultural transfer between Britain and other nations. Using insights from scholars such as Christiane Eisenberg and David Blackbourn, this article will also show how the British reaction to the cultural  transfer of a figure like William Shakespeare re-inforced Britain’s cultural self-mobilization. This article is of historical significance for three reasons. First, it analyses how Shakespeare played a vital role in British cultural self-mobilization in total war as a symbol of Englishness. The 1916 Tercentenary and the British government’s relatively limited role in organizing it meant that individual scholars, cultural critics and Shakespeare enthusiasts (and the associations they were linked to) freely articulated their vision of Shakespeare and his link to Englishness. Though not directed to do so by the British government, the narrowest and most nationalistic definition of Englishness would prevail amongst Tercentenary celebrants. Second, it shows how the cultural transfer of Shakespeare to the United States was warmly received by the British public. This aided Britain’s cultural self-mobilization by helping inspire confidence in the apparent cultural ties between Britain and the United States which it was hoped would blossom into military alliance. Third, it shows how the cultural transfer of Shakespeare to Germany was harshly criticized. This cultural transfer was seen as illegitimate and critics argued that British culture had become corrupted after being received by the Germans. In addition, this reaction to cultural transfer also aided cultural self-mobilization by increasing enmity against Britain’s leading enemy. This reaction also helped provide a cultural justification for the war by pointing to the cultural flaws and limited cultural understandings of Germany. The article will also show that such a negative reaction to a cultural transfer, belied the notion occasionally expressed by more liberally minded cultural critics that Shakespeare could be claimed by any nation without reservation as part of a universal culture. In these ways, the memory of a poet and playwright who had died 300 years before the battle of the Somme began was a vital force for Britain’s self-mobilization in a total war, especially before the rise of the Lloyd George coalition in December 1916 and the more systematic approach to government propaganda taken by Lloyd George’s government from 1917 onwards.


The Globe celebrates the Olympic Games with a marathon of its own, all thirty-eight plays, each performed by a different theatre company, in a different language.

“Performances will include The Taming of the Shrew in Urdu, The Tempest in Arabic, Troilus and Cressida in Maori, and a production of King Lear in Aboriginal languages. Other languages likely to be showcased include Turkish, Greek, Lithuanian, and the Zimbabwean dialect Shona, as well as a performance of Love’s Labour’s Lost in sign language.” (Source: London, Reuters, 21 January 2011)

Revelling in the vast array of communities and languages that make-up London’s vibrant cultural landscape, 37 international companies will present every one of Shakespeare’s plays in a different language over six weeks:

All’s Well That Ends Well Arpana, Mumbai Gujarati
Antony and Cleopatra Oyn Atölyesi, Istanbul Turkish
As You Like It Marjanishvili Theatre, Tbilisi Georgian
The Comedy of Errors Roy-e-Sabs, Kabul Dari Persian
Coriolanus Chiten, Kyoto Japanese
Cymbeline South Sudan Theatre Company, Juba Juba Arabic
Hamlet Meno Fortas, Vilnius Lithuanian
Henry IV Part I Compañia Nacional de Teatro, Mexico Mexican Spanish
Henry IV Part II Elkafka Espacio Teatral, Buenos Aires Argentinian Spanish
Henry V Shakespeare’s Globe, London English
Henry VI, A New Balkan Trilogy :
Henry VI Part I National Theatre, Belgrade Serbian
Henry VI Part II National Theatre of Albania, Tirana Albanian
Henry VI Part III National Theatre of Bitola, Bitola Macedonian
Henry VIII Rakatá, Madrid Castilian Spanish
Julius Caesar I Termini Company, Rome Italian
King John Gabriel Sundukayan Theatre, Yerevan Armenian
King Lear Belarus Free Theatre, Minsk Bielarussian
Love’s Labours Lost Deafinitely Theatre, London British Sign Language
Macbeth Teatr im. Kochanowskiego, Opole Polish
Measure for Measure Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow Russian
The Merchant of Venice Habima National Theatre, Tel Aviv Hebrew
The Merry Wives of Windsor Bitter Pill, Nairobi Swahili
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Yohangza Theatre, Seoul Korean
Much Ado About Nothing Compagnie Hypermobile, Paris French
Othello Q Brothers, Chicago Hip Hop
Pericles National Theatre of Greece, Athens Greek
Richard II Ashtar, Ramallah Palestinean Arabic
Richard III National Theatre of China, Beijing Mandarin
Romeo and Juliet Grupo Galpão, Belo Horizonte Brazilian Portuguese
The Taming of the Shrew Theatre Wallay, Lahore Urdu
The Tempest Dhaka Theatre, Dhaka Bengali
Timon of Athens Bremer Shakespeare Company, Bremen German
Titus Andronicus Tang Shu-wing, Hong Kong Cantonese
Troilus and Cressida Ngakau Toa, Auckland Maori
Twelfth Night Company Theatre, Mumbai Hindi
Two Gentlemen of Verona Two Gents Productions, Zimbabwe Shona
Venus and Adonis Isango Ensemble, Cape Town South African idioms
The Winter’s Tale Renegade Theatre, Lagos Yoruba


Monumental Shakespeares: Remembering Shakespeare in 1916 and after

A work-in-progress colloquium

King’s College London | 10th December 2011

How was Shakespeare ‘remembered’ in opposite hemispheres in 1916? How were memories constructed, fabricated or supplanted by acts/objects of memorialisation or commemoration of Shakespeare, in the wake of the Tercentenary? What do we mean by these categories of ‘remembering’?

Remembering Shakespeare is a problem. Whatever the popular myth that all the world is Shakespeare’s stage, the evidence of his commemoration is that the public finds it difficult to make up its mind about how to remember Shakespeare and thus how to find appropriate material form for the memorialisation of a key marker of cultural specificity and hegemony. Shakespeare has a foundational role in various discourses of national culture – yet how should he be remembered? With a theatre? A statue? A library? A city square? Published works?

Funded by the Australian Research Council, ‘Monumental Shakespeares’ is a collaborative research project, held jointly by King’s College London and the University of Western Australia, and involving researchers working in London, Perth and Sydney. The project aims to elucidate the processes of commemoration in London and in Sydney for the Shakespeare Tercentenary in 1916, an occasion that gave rise to significant debates over the best ways to memorialise England’s ‘National Poet’ in the British Isles and across the Empire. The project seeks to juxtapose two material outcomes of the Tercentenary: the National Theatre in London – the eventual product, decades after the event, of fractious arguments over the appropriate way to mark the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death – and the Sydney Shakespeare monument – also the result of debates about appropriate forms of public commemoration and, as an inevitable counterpart to engagement with England’s ‘national poet,’ about the politics of imperial relations. It also examines each within the larger contexts both of the varying forms of Shakespearean memorialisation and of the history and theory of commemoration. A comparison of these two drawn-out commemorations and of the debates and contexts from which they emerged will provide a focus for analysis of cultural heritage across nations and across time.

The 1916 tercentenary exemplifies Shakespeare’s perceived value as hegemonic cultural capital, and, drawing on pioneering work by Coppélia Kahn, Clara Calvo and Ton Hoenselaars – all speaking at the colloquium – we seek to explore the event’s afterlife, its influence on the subsequent understanding of Shakespeare in performance, in criticism and in popular culture in the UK, Australia and the wider world. While it focuses on Shakespeare, the project also aims more broadly to address larger issues of commemoration, cultural memory and national identities in the early twentieth century.

The Colloquium

We are very pleased to welcome to King’s an exciting range of international speakers, who join the project’s own researchers for this day of discussion and exchange. The colloquium aims to open up new lines of enquiry and to extend the rapidly developing field of study that the Shakespeare Tercentenary has provoked over recent years. As well as presenting a series of papers around the topic, the colloquium will include – thanks to the generosity of the National Theatre – an exhibition space in which to view rare items relating to the research. as well as a round table discussion with leading experts in the field.

The Speakers

Clara Calvo (Murcia), Gavin Clarke (National Theatre), Ton Hoenselaars (Utrecht), Ailsa Grant Ferguson (King’s), Ann Isherwood (King’s), Coppélia Kahn (Brown), Gordon McMullan (King’s), Philip Mead (UWA), Andrew Murphy (St Andrews), Catherine Silverstone (Queen Mary) and Monika Smialkowska (Northumbria).

Please contact Dr. Ailsa Grant Ferguson at [->] for further details and registration.


Le Globe célébrera les Jeux olympiques par un marathon de son cru, les trente-huit pièces jouées chacune par une compagnie étrangère, chacune dans une langue différente.

« Le programme incluera La Mégère apprivoisée en ourdou, La Tempête en arabe, Troilus et Cressida en maori, et une mise en scène du Roi Lear en langues aborigènes. Parmi les autres langues probablement retenues, le turc, le grec, le lithuanien, et le dialecte shona du Zimbabwe, ainsi qu’une représentation de Peines d’amour perdues en langue des signes.

Source: London, Reuters, 21 janvier 2011


« Mr. Gardner a demandé au Chancelier de l’Échiquier quelle subvention du gouvernement il avait prévue pour les célébrations du quadricentenaire de Shakespeare en 1964.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd. Aucune proposition de subvention à cette intention par le gouvernement ne m’a été soumise.

Mr. Gardner. Mon très honorable et très érudit collègue ne conviendra-t-il pas que ce quadricentenaire mérite d’être célébré par un momunent imaginatif, adéquat et permanent ? Étant donné l’importance de ces célébrations, et la haute réputation du théâtre britannique, ne conviendrait-il pas qu’il trouverait là une occasion appropriée de réviser sa décision concernant le National Theatre ? Ne jugerait-il pas convenable de reconsidérer au moins la possibilité d’apporter une contribution substantielle à l’édification d’un tel théâtre ?

Mr. Lloyd. Je suis bien conscient de l’importance et la signification de cette célébration spéciale. J’ai déjà répondu aujourd’hui à une question concernant le National Theatre, et je n’ai rien de plus à dire sur le sujet.

Mr. George Jeger. Le Chancelier est-il conscient que la meilleure contribution serait d’ordonner le paiement du million de livres déjà voté par le Parlement.

Mr. Lloyd. Je sais que c’est l’opinion de mon honorable collègue. »

Chambre des Communes, 2 mai 1961, vol. 639 c1108. © UK Parliament.


Mr. Gardner asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for Government assistance for the Shakespeare fourth centenary celebrations in 1964.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd. No proposals for Government assistance for this purpose have been put to me.

Mr. Gardner. Will not my right hon. and learned Friend agree that this fourth centenary deserves celebration by an imaginative, fitting and permanent monument? In view of the importance of these celebrations, and of the high reputation of the British theatre, would he not agree that this would be an appropriate time for him to reconsider his decision about the National Theatre? Would he not think it fitting to reconsider the possibility, at least, of making a substantial contribution towards the building of such a theatre?

Mr. Lloyd. I realise the importance and significance of this particular celebration. I have already answered one Question today about the National Theatre and have nothing more to say on that.

Mr. George Jeger. Does the Chancellor realise that the best contribution he could make would be to release the £1 million already voted by Parliament?

Mr. Lloyd. I know that the hon. Gentleman thinks that.”

House of Commons, 2 May 1961, vol. 639 c1108 © UK Parliament.