York International Shakespeare Festival

About the festival

The York International Shakespeare Festival (YorkShakes) is a major new cultural venture for York and for the North. It emerges from a productive and ambitious partnership between the York Theatre Royal, the University of York and Parrabbola, drawing in many other city, regional, national and international partners.

As a member of the prestigious European Shakespeare Festivals Network, the York International Shakespeare Festival has good access to various forms of international exchange with other Shakespeare festivals across Europe (including Gdansk, Elsinore and Barcelona).

YorkShakes 2015

YorkShakes launched in May 2015 for the first of its Spring festivals that run in alternate years.‌

Jonathan Miller directed King Lear for YISF 2015.

Find out more about YorkShakes2015

YorkShakes 2017

YorkShakes17 ran from 15 to 20 May 2017.  See the full programme of events here

YorkShakes19 will run from 11 to 20 May 2019. Details to follow.


An exciting range of Shakespeare productions.  Information and booking


A programme of free talks and workshops from top Shakespeareans. Information and booking


  • Hamlet at Elsinore 1816-2016 exhibition.  More details    
  • The Complete Walk: A Journey Through Shakespeare's Works.  More details

Twitter updates


More talks