In The News

Celebrating Shakespeare

Published: 17th March 2023

William Shakespeare is the most famous writer of all time, widely considered to be the greatest playwright the world has ever seen and a fine poet, too. His plays have been performed, read and studied all over the world for the past 400 years and his work translated into almost every language on Earth, which is why people celebrate his life and work during Shakespeare Week.

English dramatist William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), circa 1600. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

English dramatist William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), circa 1600. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Why Shakespeare?

Shakespeare is an author on the curriculum in 65% of countries, studied by around half of the world’s schoolchildren every year – but many British children only study about the playwright in their teens as part of their exams, and end-up thinking that he’s ‘not for them’.

Shakespeare Week gives you a chance to have a great first experience with one of the world’s most famous playwrights much earlier than that!

Broadcasts through the week

At 11am on Monday 20, Tuesday 21 and Thursday 23 March in Shakespeare Week 2023, there will be special online broadcasts to celebrate the week from authors, illustrators and TV presenters.

We’re especially looking forward to Monday’s event with Ben Cajee and the SBT’s Shakespeare puppet, where a catchy new Shakespeare Week song will be launched!

The First Folio at 400

Four hundred years ago this year, William Shakespeare’s friends decided to collect his plays and put them all in one very special book that’s usually known as The First Folio. That’s because its full title is quite a mouthful: Mr William Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, & tragedies. Published according to the true original copies.

“It’s hard to imagine a world without the stories of Macbeth and The Tempest, but it’s possible that these plays may have been lost forever if Shakespeare’s friends had not got together and published his collected works in one precious volume,” said Sally Gray, Shakespeare Week

LONDON - JULY 07: A Sotheby?s employee handles a copy of William Shakespeare, The First Folio 1623 on July 7, 2006 in London, England. The most important book in English Literature, the First Folio edition of Shakespeare?s plays (1623), will be offered in Sotheby?s sale of English Literature & History on July 13th, and is estimated to fetch GBP 2.5-3.5 million. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

A copy of William Shakespeare, The First Folio 1623 on July 7, 2006 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Shakespeare Week competition 2023

The competition is called Write ‘Till Your Ink Be Dry, and this Shakespeare Week you’re invited to create a homemade book that contains something that has been inspired by Shakespeare’s writing.

It doesn’t have to be a play like Shakespeare’s (but it can if you like!) – instead, it might contain a short story, a single poem or a collection of poems. Or it could be a puzzle book, a costume design book, a cookery book, a book telling Shakespeare’s life story – your options are endless!

There will be winners in two age categories, 4-7 years and 8-11 years, and the winning books will be shared in a fabulous online exhibition, alongside homemade books by children’s authors Marcia Williams and Michael Rosen.

Learn more about Shakespeare Week 2023 and get involved with the Write ‘Till Your Ink Be Dry competition at

👉 Sign up for a First News bundle now to receive the Shakespeare special edition next week just in time for Shakespeare week. 👈

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