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English Professor Edits Complete Works of Shakespeare

Professor Jonathan Bate, from the Department of English, has edited a major new edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, to be published by Macmillan. The edition will be a 21st century equivalent to the original Complete Works – the First Folio put into print by Shakespeare’s fellow actors.

Macmillan has joined forces with the Royal Shakespeare Company to publish the book and it is the first time that the RSC has been so closely involved in developing a major piece of Shakespeare publishing. The project is the result of a three-way partnership between the RSC, Macmillan and Random House US.

Michael Boyd, RSC Artistic Director said: "We're delighted to be working with Macmillan and Random House on this new edition with a team led by Jonathan Bate - one of the foremost Shakespeare scholars of his generation and a regular participant in the RSC rehearsal room. What we're aiming for is a new edition that is rooted in the idea that Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed, not read - and that appeals to students, scholars and theatregoers alike."

Publishing of the Works ties in with the RSC’s staging of its biggest ever Festival. From April 2006, the RSC will host The Complete Works, a year-long Festival of the entire Shakespeare canon at its Stratford-upon-Avon home. The Festival will include film, new writing, and contemporary music, as well as a comprehensive survey of theatre artists currently interpreting Shakespeare worldwide. The Complete Works will celebrate the global reach of Shakespeare, and will be the first time all 37 plays, the sonnets and the long poems have been presented at the same event.

A hardback edition of the Complete Works will be published towards the end of 2006 and a paperback edition plus individual editions of each of the plays will follow in 2007.