Tag Archives: poetry


By Yang Yu ‘To speak, or not to speak?’ This is the title of my first Shakespeare-themed poem, written in 2014. The poem, which focused on the civil struggle for liberty and equality under a totalitarian regime, was recited at the University of Sydney’s Festival of Democracy later that year. My knowledge of Shakespeare back […]

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I defy you, stars!

A game by Richard O’Brien, The Shakespeare Institute, based on Romeo and Juliet: click here   ‘I defy you, stars!’ was commissioned for PRINT / SCREEN, an exhibition of game-poems at the National Video Arcade in Nottingham, which ran 12th-18th November and had a second outing at the British Library. I was approached to write […]

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New Poem by Wendy Cope on Shakespeare

The 60th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival is in full swing. Following on from last year, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is hosting its second Writer in Residence, the great Wendy Cope. She is surely one of the most popular poets of her generation. Her poems, often funny on the surface, ring concisely true with modern concerns and […]

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Shakespeare in our own words

On 11 July 2013 we hosted the showcase evening for a project we have been running since the autumn of 2012. 60 young people from 13 to 16  years old came to show off the poetry they had created re-telling Shakespeare’s tales in their own words. The “Shakespeare in Our Own Words” project was made […]

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Making ‘Romeo and Juliet’ New

Every new edition of a Shakespeare play brings with it fresh insights, the work is dressed anew for our own times by a scholarly introduction, notes, and different emphases. It was a great pleasure to welcome Professor Rene Weis of University College London to The Shakespeare Centre yesterday to speak on his new edition of […]

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Shakespeare’s Many Moods of Love

The great actor Sir Ian McKellen, who is also well-known as a gay activist, was recently quoted in the press as saying that Shakespeare himself was probably gay. Invited to comment on this, I pointed out that there was nothing new in the idea, which for a long time has been frequently expressed especially because […]

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Shakespearience 4: Hamlet’s Depression

For this first Shakespearience blog of the new year, let’s turn to the most famous speech in all drama. You’ll know which one I mean: To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms […]

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Shakespeare, Poetry, Holy Trinity Church

It’s not every actor who can speak poetry well. Daring to elevate heightened language so that it rises from the page somewhere between song and naturally spoken word is a risk that many actors choose to avoid. It is not part of drama school training and tends to be skill which is acquired gradually over […]

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“Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing” (Sir Ralph Richardson)

We’ve had a lovely group of talented actors from Texas with us this week.  They have been participating in one of our ‘Shakespeare Text and Theatre’ courses, whilst also rehearsing and doing research in our archives.  As well as seeing and discussing the RSC’s repertoire, this group also had the chance to see a new […]

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