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Shakespeare on the Brain

As part of International Brain Awareness week, a free public event using Shakespeare to explore the workings of the brain was held at the University of Warwick. The project was a collaboration between The CAPITAL Centre, Warwick Medical School and Biological Sciences.

From the depression of Hamlet to the guilt of Lady Macbeth, academics and actors came together at Warwick Arts Centre to explore issues such as depression, schizophrenia and anxiety through the Bard’s work.

The evening featured performances of brief excerpts from some of Shakespeare’s best known plays, including Hamlet and Macbeth. Themes illustrated by these excerpts were then discussed by an expert panel of academics including Professor Carol Rutter, Director of the CAPITAL Centre.

“Shakespeare is an expert on the workings of the brain. Writing scenes of troubled thought, madness, grieving, sleepwalking, he lets us see the 'miraculous organ' in states of trauma that portray its awesome complexities. Our excerpts from the plays will offer the neuroscientists on our panel case studies to look into the human mind.” Prof Carol Rutter 
The actors taking part were Warwick students, directed by Jonathan Heron, Artistic Director of Fail Better, Resident Company at The CAPITAL Centre.

Please click here to view a range of podcasts of the event featuring Carol, Jonathan and the student actors.