Shakespeare's Dead exhibition opening Saturday brings the bard to life

Shakespeare's Dead: 22 April - 18 September 2016 in the Bodleian's Weston Library

15 April 2016

The opening of the Bodleian Libraries' newest exhibition, Shakespeare's Dead, will kick off with a special day of free Shakespeare-themed events and activities on Saturday 23 April.

Image of Shakespeare's Dead posterThe day also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare.

Visitors to the Weston Library will be able to try Creation Theatre's Sonnet and Soliloquy Booth where they can record themselves reciting lines from Shakespeare's poetry and plays. Or they can learn how to use a quill pen like the bard with authentically-dressed 16th century scribes, creating a work that they can take away. Visitors can also create a Shakespeare portrait via lino cutting then have it reproduced on the popular printing press in the library.

All events are free and suitable for families. Advance booking is not required. Creation Theatre's Sonnet and Soliloquy Booth will be in place from Friday 22 April to Sunday 24 April. Visitors can also enjoy the Bodleian café and the shop which features Shakespeare-themed materials including numerous publications on the Bard.

Image of Shakespeare's faceVisitors can also be among the first to view the exhibition, Shakespeare's Dead, which opens on Friday 22 April. Curated by two University of Oxford English professors, Simon Palfrey and Emma Smith, this special exhibition reveals the unique ways in which Shakespeare brings dying, death and the dead to life and is about death in Shakespeare's plays and time. The exhibition will feature two of the Bodleian Libraries' First Folios as well as many other gems from its world-famous collections, including the earliest editions of Romeo and Juliet and many other original quarto playbooks as well as poetry, pamphlets, diaries and illustrations.

'This unique exhibition explores a fascinating theme in Shakespeare's works,' said curator Emma Smith. Shakespeare's Dead shows how Shakespeare channelled the universal fear of death into dramatic moments that continue to affirm life for audiences and readers around the world. The exhibition will be an opportunity for visitors to rediscover Shakespeare in a whole new light.' Curator Emma Smith recently authenticated a previously unknown copy of Shakespeare's First Folio at Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute.

Events will also take place over the course of the exhibition with a programme of talks, performances and activities for families. For more information see: The exhibition, Shakespeare's Dead, runs until 18 September and admission is free. A publication by Simon Palfrey and Emma Smith, Shakespeare's Dead, is available to pre-order from our online shop.

All activity is part of Shakespeare Oxford 2016 festival.

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