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Searching for Shakespeare

The University of Warwick has recently produced a series of films in partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust about the life and times of William Shakespeare.

With unique access to the Trust's library and archives, the houses associated with Shakespeare and exhibitions created by their experts this series of videos have given academics at Warwick the opportunity to explore some of the much debated issues surrounding arguably the world's greatest poet and author of plays.

Searching for Shakespeare: The Dig at New Place Stratford Upon Avon

Director of Learning and Research at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Paul Edmondson and University of Warwick's Professor Carol Rutter to explore a new archaeological dig in the grounds of William Shakespeare's house, New Place in Stratford upon Avon.

Searching for Shakespeare: The Documents at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Mairi Macdonald, Former Head of Local Collections at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust gives the University of Warwick's Professor Carol Rutter access to the documents they hold relating to the life of William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Found

Professor Stanley Wells, Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespearean studies, talks to Warwick University student Harriet Birchall about the discovery of a portrait of William Shakespeare, which he believes is almost certainly the only authentic image of Shakespeare made from life.

Shakespeare's Sonnets

In the year of the 400th anniversary of their publication Professors Stanley Wells and Jonathan Bate talk to Paul Edmondson about the content and context of Shakespeare's collection of sonnets.

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was formed in 1847 and aims to promote the appreciation and study of the plays and other works of William Shakespeare and general advancements of Shakespearean knowledge, it has an extensive library and archive relating to the life and times of the bard as well as caring for the historical houses connected to the famous playwright.

The CAPITAL Centre

The CAPITAL Centre is a partnership between the University of Warwick and the Royal Shakespeare Company established to use theatre performance skills and experience to enhance student learning and to draw on University research and resources to shape the development of the RSC acting companies. CAPITAL is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning supported by the Higher Education Funding Council England.

    Other Shakespeare projects from the University of Warwick

    Shakespeare's BonesShakespeare's Bones

    This must be one of the most unusual Shakespeare projects ever attempted. The idea is simplicity itself. All of the words are removed from a play of Shakespeare’s. That is to say, metrical scansion signs replace the words, and numbers the names of characters, leaving on the page only the bare grid, the skeletal structure, the bones of the play. Once this rhythmic grid has been established, the task of the writers is to devise a new story that will require the same number of characters, appearing at the same places, even beginning a speech at the third foot in the pentameter, and then to write the new words and graft them onto Shakespeare’s grid. Shakespeare’s bones are re-fleshed with a new body of poetic speech, in the mouths of new characters, acting out a plot of the new authors’ devising.

    Michael Hulse devised this project for the Capital Centre and worked on it with a small team of students. The choice of the play, the work of stripping out Shakespeare’s words, the conception of a new plot and characters, were all the responsibility of the students signed up to the project, under Michael’s guidance. It was a project that confronted writers with object lessons about the sheer resourcefulness of Shakespeare’s verse and structures, as well as with fundamental technical issues of plotting and dramatic rhythm. It also raised issues to do with the status of mimicry, imitation and pastiche. Above all, it stretched the team’s creative energies in ways that were entirely unpredictable.


    A series of 13 podcasts from the University of Warwick about the bard William Shakespeare and his works, including:

    Teaching Shakespeare - Jacqui O'Hanlon, Deputy Director of Learning at the RSC about approaches to teaching Shakespeare and learning through performance.
    Editing the Complete Works - Professor Jonathan Bate about his work editing a new edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare.
    Manga and Shakespeare - Emma Hayley talks about adapting Shakespeare to the ancient Japanese comic art form of manga, after launching the Manga Shakespeare book series.
    From just 14 lines to the complete works - Comedian Lenny Henry and director Barrie Rutter talk about studying just 14 lines of Othello and Warwick's Peter Kirwan discusses his year seeing every production in the RSC's Complete Works Season.

    William Shakespeare

    Image Courtesy of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

    More Information

    Professor Carol Rutter

    The CAPITAL Centre

    Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust

    Other Shakespeare Projects

    The Hamlet Project


    Shakespeare's Bones