Shake it Up! A Shakespeare Festival for Shoreditch

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Discover Shoreditch in a whole new light with a free weekend festival celebrating its most famous local, William Shakespeare.

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*UPDATE*

You can reserve your free spot for some of our seated events via the Shoreditch Town Hall Whats On page - . You can also sign in with us on the day. Some events have limited capacity so please do reserve to avoid disappointment!

Shoreditch Town Hall, St Leonard’s Church, Rich Mix and New Inn Broadway

The festival kicks off on Friday night with The Choicest Music of the Kingdom, an exclusive programme of Elizabethan and Jacobean choral works presented by internationally acclaimed choir The Sixteen. Tickets are available via The Sixteen website and Eventbrite.

On Saturday families can enjoy a free day of Elizabethan ruff making, art workshops, music, dancing and sword fighting!

Other activities across the weekend include talks by Before Shakespeare, walking tours by Look Up London, music by David William Hughes, performance by The School of Night and Elizabethan yoga!

Registration is not required - but welcomed!

Presented by The Theatre Courtyard Gallery

Follow us on Twitter @TheTheatre1576

FULL PROGRAMME:

Friday August 23

Exhibition: Dramatic Discoveries

9am until late

Rich Mix, Mezzanine Gallery

Explore the history of The Theatre and its archaeological remains alongside a display of artworks made by year 4 students from Columbia School.

Free, drop in

Shakespeare’s Shoreditch Walking Tour with Look Up London

11am - 12:30pm

A walking tour through Shoreditch, but not as you know it! Explore East London as William Shakespeare would have known it and handle objects with the archaeologists that excavated The Theatre.

Booking essential, tickets via Eventbrite

The Choicest Music of the Kingdom: A concert by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen

7:30pm - 9pm

St. Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch

An extraordinary evening of drama and song performed in the atmospheric surroundings of St. Leonard’s Church. Featuring an exclusive programme of Elizabethan and Jacobean choral works presented by internationally acclaimed choir The Sixteen and Harry Christophers CBE.

Booking essential, tickets via Eventbrite

Saturday 24 August

Exhibition: Dramatic Discoveries

9am until late

Rich Mix, Mezzanine Gallery

(See Friday 23rd)

Free, drop in

Shakespearean Yoga

11am - 12pm

Rich Mix, The Studio

The downward dog will have it’s day – and this is it! Join us for a yoga class (suitable for beginners) performed to live musical accompaniment and with special scents created by AVM curiosities.

Booking essential, tickets via Eventbrite

MOLA Time Tent at The Theatre

11am - 5pm

Outside the site of The Theatre, New Inn Broadway

Archaeologists from MOLA, the archaeological organisation who excavated The Theatre, will bring you an archaeological feast for the eyes presenting objects uncovered in London’s original theatre districts and a chance to handle real artefacts!

Free, drop in

Shakespeare’s Shoreditch Walking Tour with Look Up London

11am - 12:30pm

(See Friday 23rd)

Booking essential, tickets via Eventbrite

Room of Ruffs

11am - 5pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Drop into an Elizabethan ruff factory; try them on and make one for yourself!

Free, drop in

Elizabethan Card Games

11am - 5pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Have a go at the games that Shakespeare and his cronies would have enjoyed at the tavern.

Free, drop in

Before Shakespeare: Rethinking London’s Earliest Playhouses

11:30am - 1pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Join historical theatre investigators Andy Kesson, Lucy Munro and Callan Davies as they present bite-sized lectures on the beginnings of London’s commercial theatres. Talks will feature Elizabethan London’s cosmopolitan crowds, female playhouse owners, and bowling, brawls and broomsticks….

Free, drop in

Family Workshops: Dramatic Discoveries

11:00am - 1:00pm and 2pm - 4pm

Rich Mix, The Stage

Families are invited to join Art Hoppers to make their own historical artefacts. Make your own design for a Medieval tile to take home!

[Family friendly]

Free, advance booking recommended - via Rich Mix website

Pop-up Shakespeare

12:30pm – at the MOLA tent, New Inn Broadway

2pm & 4:30pm – in Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Have you seen Shakespeare as it was originally acted? Actors from Shake-scene Shakespeare will perform pop-up scenes throughout the day; watch the actors step into the unknown and gamble with every moment of the scene!

Free, drop in

From Marchpane to Mutton: A Sniff of Shakespeare’s Time

1pm - 1.30pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Join Tasha Marks, award-winning food historian and artist, for a visual and aromatic lecture exploring the food that Shakespeare would have eaten.

Free, drop in

Shakespeare: A Ruff History

1:30pm - 2pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Looking back through four centuries of Shakespeare in performance and popular culture, Ella Hawkins explores how the ruff came to be the ultimate symbol for the playwright and his works.

Free, drop in

BURBAGE V BRAYNE by The Dolphin’s Back

2pm - 3pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Using verbatim testimony drawn from the legal records and contemporary accounts, the troubled and sometimes violent history of the ownership of The Theatre is brought to life by actors from The Dolphin’s Back

Free, drop in

Shoreditch Church bells rung by the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths

3pm

Anywhere within earshot of Shoreditch Church!

Listen out for a full peal of these historic church bells, rung by the Royal Cumberland Youth Society, a society that has been ringing church bells since 1747!

Free, drop in

Sword Fighting demonstration

3.15pm - 4.15pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Watch a spine-tingling demonstration of Elizabethan stage fighting techniques!

Free, drop in

“Elizabethan”

5pm - 6pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Straight from the Edinburgh Fringe - David William Hughes brings his smash hit one man show to Shoreditch! Tobias Bacon - drinker, smoker, tights-wearer, and lover, recounts his life story in this historical musical comedy based on 400-year-old songs.

Free, drop in

Can You Cut a Caper? Elizabethan dance workshop with Sian Williams

6.30pm - 7.30pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

A fun, free Elizabethan dance workshop for all abilities. Led by choreographer Sian Williams, who has been directing dance at Shakespeare’s Globe for the last 19 years.

Free, drop in

The School of Night: creating a new Shakespearean masterpiece on the fly

8pm - 9pm

Shoreditch Town Hall, The Ditch

Meetings of The School of Night are unlike any other theatrical event you are likely to experience. Every show is different - everything is created on the spur of the moment according to ideas and suggestions proffered by the audience.

Free, drop in

Drinks - including specialty cocktails! - being served all day in Shoreditch Town Hall.

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