Shakespeare in Ten Acts

April 15—September 06, 2016
Event Description

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this exhibition will reveal ten performances that have made Shakespeare the cultural icon he is today. It is often said that Shakespeare’s work is universal, but this is to ignore the fact that his plays have been constantly reinvented to suit the times. Across the centuries Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed and translated, faked and forged, revised, recast and redesigned to appeal to new generations of theatre-goers in Britain and around the world. This exhibition will explore the impact of ten significant theatrical moments from Shakespeare’s first production of Hamlet to a digital-age deconstruction for the 21st century. On display will be the only surviving play-script in Shakespeare’s hand, two of only six authentic Shakespeare signatures, and rare printed editions including the First Folio. These—and other treasures from the British Library’s collections—will feature alongside film, paintings, photographs, costumes and props.