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Asta Nielsen as a female Hamlet

Curtain goes up on York’s Shakespeare festival programme

Posted on 23 February 2015

From 8 to 17 May stage productions, puppet shows, comic opera and fascinating public talks will be held across the city. Tickets now on sale.

York International Shakespeare Festival

Festival highlights on campus include:

  • King Lear, a Northern Broadsides production directed by leading theatre and opera director Sir Jonathan Miller. The production will be staged at the University’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV) from 12 to 16 May.

  • A gala screening of the 1920 German Expressionist film Hamlet: Drama of Vengeance in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall (9 May), introduced by University of York film historian Professor Judith Buchanan and with live musical accompaniment from composer-musician Robin Harris.

  • A varied programme of pre-show talks across festival week given by Shakespeare scholars from around the world. These include Professor Irena Makaryk (11 May) and Professor Ton Hoenselaars (12 May) in the Berrick Saul Building; Professor Margreta de Grazia (14 May) in the Ron Cooke Hub; and Professor Mike Cordner (16 May) in TFTV. The talks are free but tickets must be booked in advance.

  • The University’s Heslington Hall is the historic setting for an international Shakespeare exhibition, on loan from the University of Cologne, and curated by an international team of students from both universities. It features Shakespeare-related artefacts, artworks and fascinating records of theatrical productions. The free exhibition is open during the afternoons throughout festival week (10 – 16 May).

Headline productions in city venues include the comic opera Pyramus and Thisbe by Early Opera specialists Opera Restor’d in The National Centre for Early Music (10 May), York Shakespeare Project’s Timon of Athens in the Ballroom of the De Grey Rooms (14 – 17 May), Handlebards’ The Comedy of Errors performed on bikes in Museum Gardens (13 May) and a foot-stomping musical production of Romeo and Juliet by The Flanagan Collective in the beautiful surroundings of St Olave’s Church (7 to 23 May).

The festival is mounted in partnership with York Theatre Royal and community arts organisation Parrabbola. It is co-directed by Professor Judith Buchanan, Director of the University’s Humanities Research Centre.

Details of other festival productions and tickets for all events are now on sale or available to book through the York Theatre Royal website Follow festival updates on Twitter @YorkShakes