2023 marks the fourth centennial of the publication of the ‘First Folio’, which was published in 1623, seven years after the death of William Shakespeare. This collection of 36 of Shakespeare’s works brought together by two of his friends, John Heminges and Henry Condell under the full title of:

Mr. VVilliam Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies.

As a tribute to their friend, Heminges and Condell wanted to put forward the best possible version of Shakespeare’s plays, so they used original prompt books, quartos, and original notes to collate the final collection. 

Mayflower Bookshop celebrates this milestone with a Shakespeare Festival on Sunday April 23rd, the day on which the Bard died and also the date that might very well have been his birth date as well!

The festival will take up all afternoon, starting at noon exactly and will cover multiple aspects of his work including the sonnets, originally published in 1609 and a memorial.

We will kick-off the festival with a lecture by Dr. Wim Tigges, frequent speaker at Mayflower Bookshop, who will talk on genderfluidity in Shakespeare

This lecture will be followed by the performance of two scenes from the comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, played by The Mayflower Theatre Company (Suze Hageman and Esther Straathof) under direction of house-director Sigrid de Zwart.

At 14.00, Leo van Zanen gives a talk on Shakespeare’s Sugar’d Sonnets and musician Willem Vermaase will illustrate this lecture by playing a few Shakespearean songs. Leo, a frequent guest-lecturer as well, will subsequently lead a walk to ‘Sonnet 30’ where, as a tribute to The Bard, this poem will be recited in English and Dutch and a short memorial ceremony will take place..

At 16.00, Tony Foster, lecturer at Leiden University (English culture and literature) will delight you with atalk on law practice as portrayed in The Merchant of Venice after which the Mayflower Theatre Company will conclude the afternoon with a performance of a few scenes from the tragey Macbeth, played by Freek Bouricius and Simme van de Lustgraaf, under direction of guest-director Herman Duchenne. 

The complete programme can be found here.

In the meantime, to whet your appetite, please visit the exhibition ‘Gesuikerde sonnetten’ (Sugar’d sonnets) in the B+C library, organized by Leo van Zanen. More information: https://www.bplusc.nl/agenda/gesuikerde-sonnetten/

We hope to welcome you all in April 23rd!

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