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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 2017

YorkShakes17 ran from 15 to 20 May 2017.  

It included theatre productions, talks and workshops from top Shakespeareans, an exhibition, Hamlet at Elsinore 1816-2016, and The Complete Walk, a film journey through Shakespeare's works. 

See the full programme of events here

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 2019

YorkShakes19 will run from 11 to 20 May 2019


An exciting range of Shakespeare productions.  Information and booking

‌Public talks and workshops

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

Artist in Residence

Across festival week, the work of our inaugural artist-in-residence for the festival, Lynne O’Dowd, will be on display in York Theatre Royal.  Find out more.

Schools workshops

Academics and students from the Humanities Research Centre will be running free schools workshops for Yr 9 pupils and Yr 12 students from across Yorkshire.  

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Public Talks and Workshops