Shakespeare 400: APAC Hub

APAC is acting as a hub for members to share information about their celebrations of the Shakespeare anniversary in 2016. To list your projects and events, please email details to


‘The very age and body of the time’: Shakespeare’s world

The Weston Room, The Maughan Library, King’s College London, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1LR
16 June-24 September 2016 (closed Sundays)
This exhibition explores the world in which Shakespeare lived and worked. It shows the types of implements he would have used to write his plays and poems and looks at the workings of the London book trade in his day. It examines the political and religious background of Elizabethan and Jacobean England and the literary sources upon which Shakespeare drew. Items on display include a copy of Julius Caesar from the Second Folio edition, a copy of the first edition of Ben Jonson’s works, published in the year of Shakespeare’s death, and a copy of Daemonologie, James I’s treatise on witchcraft. The final case of the exhibition explores King’s College London’s rich tradition of Shakespearean scholarship.


Hamlet and the National Theatre

National Theatre, London – Lyttelton Lounge
18 April-Autumn 2016
The National Theatre has a long history of Shakespeare productions, and Hamlet has been staged five times, more than any other Shakespeare play. The exhibition focuses on the five productions and shows how the play has been called on to mark important moments in the theatre’s history.


Shakespeare at the Hall: An Exhibition from the Archives

Royal Albert Hall, London – ground floor corridor
Throughout 2016
The display looks at some of the most significant Shakespeare-inspired events staged at the Royal Albert Hall in the past 145 years. The first was the ‘Shakespearean Show, in aid of the Chelsea Hospital for Women’ held in May 1884. The entire auditorium was transformed into an Elizabethan English village with life-size church and shops for guests to mingle amongst. Refreshments and goods were sold alongside the staging of 11 of Shakespeare’s plays.

The Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre Ball of 20 June 1911 has passed into legend as probably the most spectacular ball ever staged at the Royal Albert Hall. As the ball preceded the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary by two days, there were international attendees from almost every royal dynasty as well as Winston Churchill, actress Ellen Terry, Prime Minister Asquith, Mrs JJ Astor and writer Somerset Maughan. Three thousand guests dressed in Shakespearean costumes representing 28 of the Bard’s plays. A number of the guests were direct descendants of the people they were impersonating, including Howards, Talbots, Cecils, Burghleys, Fortescues, Lytteltons, Hamiltons and Comptons. Guests entered the Hall to find it transformed into a luscious Italian garden with tress, vines and a starry canopy. After dancing there were tableaux representing scenes from Shakespeare’s plays with nobility in costume. The sets were designed by Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens.

Throughout the 20th and into the 21st century, Shakespeare’s legacy has continued to inspire dance, film and music at the Hall. Some notable events have been English National Ballet’s in-the-round production of Romeo and Juliet, featuring Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo (1998, 2001, 2005, 2014), screenings of West Side Story with a live orchestra (2012-2014) and Kiss Me Kate performed at the BBC Proms in 2014.


1616: A Momentous Year

Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, London
Throughout 2016
The Globe’s exhibition offers special displays and unique items from around the world, all celebrating the life of the great playwright.


Events and Performances

Shakespeare 400: Chapter & Verse

University of Kent
February-November 2016
Shakespeare 400: Chapter & Verse brings together a wide range of groups in Canterbury to offer a local view of the work of the Bard. Focusing on unique aspects of this historic town and its people, Chapter & Verse offers the opportunity to rediscover the familiar in new ways through Shakespeare’s work and the fascinating spaces, places and people who live and work in and around the City.

Collaborators include Templeman Library Special Collections and Archives, School of English and the School of Arts at the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury Cathedral, King’s School Canterbury, the Marlowe Theatre, the Gulbenkian and the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge. The project has been overseen by Jane Gallagher in the Templeman Library Special Collections and Archives.


Projects and Products

Teaching Shakespeare: Online Resource

British Film Institute, Royal Shakespeare Company, V&A Theatre and Performance
Teaching Shakespeare provides creative routes into the world of Shakespeare, bringing a selection of his plays to life with resources from some of the UK’s major cultural institutions. The online resource is a collaboration among the RSC, the V&A, the BFI, the British Museum, Into Film, Arts Council England, and TES.

National Theatre Shakespeare: free app for iPad and iPhone

The National Theatre
National Theatre Shakespeare draws together a wealth of incredible archive material from the 55 main-house Shakespeare productions the NT has staged to date, from Peter O’Toole as Hamlet in 1963 and the 1964 all-male production of As You Like It, to the critically acclaimed 2013 Othello and Sam Mendes’ production of King Lear in 2014. Packed with videos, production photographs, costume and set designs, annotated scripts and more, it gives a unique glimpse behind the scenes of the NT, and demonstrates Shakespeare’s continuing relevance to the modern stage.

It features exclusive video interviews including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Derek Jacobi; an interactive timeline of production posters; hundreds of production and rehearsal photographs, costume illustrations, set designs, technical images, annotated scripts and other content from a selection of NT productions; an introduction to each production from journalist and critic Benedict Nightingale; cast and production lists.

Our Shakespeare: The Distributed Collection of the People of Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

This project looks at Shakespeare through the people of Stratford and the items they have kept relating to the Bard in their own homes – their personal Shakespeare archives/collections. It could be anything from a theatre ticket or programme, to a painting, ceramic, cheap souvenir, or something of more historical significance. The important element is the story behind why they have kept the item – what connection and memories the item holds for them, why they acquired it and its significance and value to them. In addition, those who submit a story will be asked to record their feelings, their sense of connection to Shakespeare.

The collation of this material will take place during 2015. This will enable the Shakespeare Institute to hold an exhibition throughout 2016 exploring the identity of Shakespeare through our local community. The public will form the content with their stories and provide meaning to the cultural significance of Shakespeare in the 21st century. The idea of the project is hooked on an item but the monetary value of the item is irrelevant. It is the story and the connection that is of value to our understanding of how Shakespeare impacts on our lives today. The exhibition will be hosted in the institutions and public spaces around Stratford, and images and stories will be posted online via the University of Birmingham’s website. Contact: Karin Brown, Shakespeare Institute Librarian,