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.

United Kingdom

  • Shakespeare Week will offer children the chance to take part in creative and cultural learning experiences in schools and outside the classroom.
  • The ‘Shakespeare Week’ website brings together free resources for teachers and promotes events and activities in cultural and heritage organisations nationwide.
  • Every child whose school participates in Shakespeare Week will receive the Passport to Shakespeare encouraging them to continue learning at school, beyond the classroom and with their families.


Bien entendu l’hommage à Shakespeare devrait être universel, mais cela ne veut pas dire « que chaque ville et chaque cité doit tenir son propre festival à cette occasion », décrète le programme officiel du festival prévu à Stratford : des contrées lointaines comme les colonies ou l’Amerique ont certes droit à leurs propres célébrations mais en Angleterre « il ne convient pas d’élever un millier de petits mais un seul magnifique autel », ici, dans la ville qui l’a vu naître et mourir, « sanctifiée par sa mort – sanctifiée par sa sépulture ».

Il est prévu que les festivités à Stratford commenceront le samedi 23 avril à midi et se termineront par un bal public le mardi 2 mai, mais à la demande générale, on les rallonge de deux soirées supplémentaires, où une tragédie et une comédie seront interprétées « par des artistes de premier rang, de renommée métropolitaine et provinciale ». Le programme inclut par ailleurs un banquet, présidé par le comte de Carlisle, un feu d’artifice, une visite des sites, des sermons shakespeariens à l’église, plus quelques représentations théâtrales, à partir seulement du quatrième jour des réjouissances.

Les simples habitants de Stratford, qui devaient payer pour regarder la bonne société boire à la santé de Shakespeare, étaient invités par des pamphlets indignés à se souvenir qu’il était « le Poète du Peuple », et à former un comité rival pour organiser leurs propres célébrations.
L’un des principaux organisateurs du Festival, le brasseur stratfordien Edward Fordham Flower, est également maire de la ville. Son fils aîné, Charles Edward Flower, fera don de la terre où s’élèvera le Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, et la majeure partie des fonds destinés à le construire et l’équiper. Le théâtre ouvre en 1879 et depuis cette date un membre de la famille a toujour occupé un siège au conseil d’administration. Son occupant actuel, Sir Fordham Flower, est également président du Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, l’organisme qui gère les lieux où a vécu Shakespeare.


Of course the homage to Shakespeare should be universal, yet it does not mean “that each city and each town should on this occasion have a festival of its own”, The Official programme of the Tercentenary Festival of the birth of Shakespeare to be held at Stratford-upon-Avon declares: faraway places like the colonies or America are entitled to their own celebrations, but at home, “there should not be a thousand petty, but one magnificent altar”, in the town of his birth and death, “hallowed by his birth – hallowed by his sepulture”.

The festivities in Stratford are to begin on Saturday 23 April at noon and end with a public ball on Tuesday 2 May, but by general request two more evenings are added, with performances of a tragedy and a comedy “by first-class Artistes of Metropolitan and Provincial celebrity”. The programme includes a banquet, presided over by the Earl of Carlisle, and fireworks, visits of the sites, Shakespeare sermons in church, plus a few performances of Shakespeare’s plays, beginning only on the fourth day of entertainments.

The people of Stratford, who had to pay if they wanted to watch their betters toast Shakespeare, were reminded by angry pamphlets that he was “the Poet of the People”, and encouraged to form a rival committee and organize their own celebrations.

One of the main organizers was the Stratford brewer Edward Fordham Flower, who was also the town’s mayor. His eldest son, Charles Edward Flower gave land for the site of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and most of the money to build & equip it. It opened in 1879 and ever since the family has filled the chair of the Board of Theatre Governors. Its present occupant, Sir Fordham Flower, is also chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Stratford Jubilee

« Il convient de couronner les rois, et il convenait de célébrer le couronnement tardif de Shakespeare dans sa ville natale. Le jubilée de Stratford (comme l’ont nommé ses parrains) se tint, bizarrement, non pas lors du bicentenaire de la naissance du poète en 1764 mais cinq ans plus tard, et non en avril, mois de sa naissance, mais sans pertinence aucune en septembre. »

Samuel Schoenbaum, Shakespeare’s Lives, 1970, p. 154

L’Ode déclamatoire de Garrick « À Shakespeare » – « C’est lui ! C’est lui ! Le dieu de notre idolâtrie » – occupa le centre des cérémonies du jubilée, qui durèrent trois jours, du 6 au 9 septembre 1769, sous la direction de Garrick, du Dr Arne qui conduisit l’interprétation de l’Ode par les musiciens, et Boswell.

Stratford Jubilee

“Kings must be crowned, and it is fitting that Shakespeare’s belated coronation should have been held in the town of his birth. The Stratford jubilee (as its sponsors called it) took place, oddly, not on the bicentenary of the poet’s birth in 1764 but five years later, and not, as one might expect, in April when he was born but in irrelevant September….” Samuel Schoenbaum, Shakespeare’s Lives, 1970, p. 154.

David Garrick’s declamatory “Ode to Shakespeare” – “’Tis he! ’Tis he! / The god of our idolatry!” – was the centrepiece of the bicentenary Stratford Jubilee, which was celebrated for three days, 6-8 September 1769 at Stratford, under the direction of Garrick, Dr. Arne, who led the musicians’ interpration of the Ode, and Boswell.