Shakespeare parade celebrations in Stratford.
Shakespeare parade celebrations in Stratford.

The University has teamed up with the Shakespeare institute and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to deliver the ‘Shakespeare Birthday Lecture and One Day conference’ this Friday 21st April. Marking four hundred years since the publication of the First Folio and the death of Anne Shakespeare.

The event is open to all and will feature talks from our academics such Dr Chris Laoutaris on the personalities behind the making of the first Folio. Plus, Professor Tiffany Stern on the many mistakes in the first Folio and what they can tell us.

I'm honoured to be speaking at the Shakespeare Birthday Lecture and anniversary conference in such an important year. I'm particularly proud not only to be talking about my book on the creation of the First Folio, Shakespeare's Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio (William Collins), but to be co-launching the first ever anthology of poems for Anne Shakespeare, Anne-thology: Poems Re-Presenting Anne Shakespeare (Broken Sleep Books), with my fellow co-editors in the project, Dr Paul Edmondson, Aaron Kent and Prof Katherine Scheil.

Dr Chris Laoutaris, Senior Lecturer in Shakespeare.

The One day conference will also include an exciting panel discussion about these important anniversaries. With all the speakers joined by Professor Charlotte Scott, Director of Knowledge and Engagement at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and chaired by Dr Paul Edmondson.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio: the first collected works of Shakespeare’s plays, and the book that gave us 18 plays that would otherwise be lost, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and the Tempest. I’m thrilled to be speaking at Birmingham’s Folio conference, which will shed new light on the nature and construction of that crucial book. My own talk will be on what we learn about the Folio by looking at its mistakes: why is Shakespeare’s picture so bad? Why are there so few preliminary poems? Why are the plays filled with aural errors?

Professor Tiffany Stern, Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama.

The fun doesn’t stop there as the Shakespeare Institute are involved in the Shakespeare Birthday Parade. William Shakespeare’s birthday is celebrated every April in his hometown of Stratford upon Avon. The Bard was born in 1564 and this event has been held for many years on the Saturday nearest his birthdate. With a large procession of well-wishers bearing posies, a fancy-dress parade of well-known characters from his plays, flag waving, wreath laying at the church where he is buried (Holy Trinity Church), folk dancing and street entertainment, and of course lots of thespians.

More details about joining the parade.