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Major Shakespeare Festival for York

Posted on 9 May 2017

The York International Shakespeare Festival (#YorkShakes), featuring an exhibition launch by the Danish Ambassador and a Q&A with critically-acclaimed actor Paapa Essiedu, opens in York next week from 15 – 20 May.

York International Shakespeare Festival

Marking a new cultural highlight for York, Yorkshakes will include productions, talks, workshops and a dedicated Macbeth Day featuring expert talks and a pre-release screening of the new Macbeth feature film on 20 May.

A partnership between the University of York, York Theatre Royal and community theatre group Parrabbola, YorkShakes is a member of the prestigious European Shakespeare Festival Network.

Highlights include:

  • A launch event for Hamlet’s Elsinore exhibition – the location in Denmark’s Kronborg Castle where Shakespeare’s Hamlet was set. Dr Anne Sophie Refskou (University of Surrey) and Lars Romann Engel (Artistic Director of Hamletscenen in Elsinore) will give an illustrated talk exploring the fascinating relationship between a fictional location and a real one (Monday 15 May, 6.00 – 7.00pm). This talk will be attended by the Danish Ambassador Claus Grube, and the exhibition runs from 16 – 19 May.

  • Paapa Essiedu in conversation with Professor Judith Buchanan (University of York). Essiedu played an electrifying Hamlet for the critically-acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company production in 2016. He will discuss his roles, the media attention his casting garnered and experiences of live broadcast theatre (18 May, 6.00 – 7.00pm)

  • Bloody, Bold and Resolute: Macbeth Day will see experts and practitioners come together to discuss creative responses to Macbeth with text, performance, music, politics and film (20 May, 1.15 – 6.15pm)
  • Productions at the York Theatre Royal including Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night. Productions elsewhere in York include A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Some productions feature pre-show talks byacademics (various dates).

Professor Judith Buchanan, Director of the Humanities Research Centre and co-Director of the York International Shakespeare Festival, said: “The York International Shakespeare Festival is a wonderfully enriching cultural event for the University and the region.  

“Lively and varied theatre productions, a great free talks programme that includes top-flight academics and industry professionals, an exhibition about Hamlet in Denmark and a pre-release screening of a brand new feature film of Macbeth - there are cultural treats coming down the line. And if you want to hear Paapa Essiedu discuss his electrifying Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company, best book early!”

Further information:

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Saskia Angenent
Press Officer

Tel: 01904 323918