Shakespeare 400

‌'Remember me': University of Bristol Shakespeare 400 events programme

2016 marks the 400 anniversary of Shakespeare's death. To commemorate this, the University of Bristol will be running a series of public events and research projects. 

Shakespeare and Bristol

The theatre companies based in Elizabethan London regularly toured to the provinces, including Bristol, which as England’s second largest and most prosperous city offered a lucrative destination. When the Lord Chamberlain’s Men visited Bristol they performed in the Guildhall in Broad Street, which was the main venue for visiting players, and it is possible that Shakespeare, who at the time was an actor with the company as well as a playwright, might have been one of their number, even perhaps performing in one of his own plays.

The theatrical history of Bristol and the surrounding area is extensive. From 1578 until his death in 1611, Lord Berkeley had his own company of players, Berkeley’s Men, who travelled extensively across the south west and as far as Coventry, and Bath was also a venue for touring companies. In the early 17th century, two private playhouses were opened in Bristol, one in Wine Street, the other in Redcliffe Hill, a situation then unique in a provincial city, and this year sees the 250th anniversary of continuous work at the Theatre Royal, which has staged many celebrated productions of Shakespeare’s plays.

Read more about Shakespeare and Bristol. 

‘Remember me’: Shakespeare’s cultural and artistic legacy

Lewis Fry Memorial event

23 April

4 pm to 5.30 pm, Wickham Theatre, Cantock's Close, BS8 1UP
On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the University of Bristol will host a public debate to explore his cultural and artistic legacy across literature, psychology, politics and the visual arts. Focusing on Hamlet, the panel will explore the play’s influence on art; its impact on the history of mental illness and psychoanalysis; and its interpretation on stage and in new global contexts.

Panellists

  • Lesel Dawson, Senior Lecturer at Bristol University, author of Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern Literature (OUP, 2008) talking about Hamlet and Ophelia's afterlives,
  • Jane Cheshire, The Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy talking about Shakespeare and Freud,
  • Andrew Hilton, Artistic Director Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. Andrew will be talking about the recent production of Hamlet,
  • Tom Sperlinger, Reader at Bristol University and author of Romeo and Juliet in Palestine (Zero Books, 2015) who will be talking about the experience of teaching Hamlet in Palestine and the way that Hamlet can take on new political dimensions when read in different contexts.

Image credit: E. H.Sothern as Hamlet, Courtesy Michael A. Morrison Collection.
Shakespeare's First Folio © The British Library Board, G.11631 title page

‌Back to Black: the iconic image of Hamlet

Exhibition

21 April

until

13 Sept

Timings vary (Monday-Friday only)
Theatre Collection, Vandyck Building, 21 Park Row, Bristol BS1 5LT
A new exhibition curated by MA History of Art students opens at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection this April, in time for Shakespeare's 400th birthday celebrations. Using extensive archival material from the Theatre Collection, Back to Black explores the image of Hamlet through the ages.

Free to attend and all welcome.

Shakespearabilia: the iconic image of Shakespeare

Exhibition

21 April

until

13 Sept

Monday: 12 noon - 4 pm. Tuesday - Friday: 10 am - 4 pm
Theatre Collection, Vandyck Building, 21 Park Row, Bristol BS1 5LT
In the 400th year since Shakespeare’s death, this exhibition looks at the image of Shakespeare and its use in marketing and selling. The items on display are grouped around the main images of Shakespeare which have survived – the Chandos portrait, the Droeshout image, the Stratford Memorial and the Westminster Memorial.

Free to attend and all welcome.