Late at the Library: World Book Night celebrates Shakespeare

Late at the Library

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Happy Bard day! It's World Book Night and Shakespeare’s birthday

Join us for an evening of celebration and commemoration of our greatest playwright in words, performance, music, and sideshows. The ticket includes entry to our new exhibition Shakespeare in Ten Acts.

The evening will be hosted by the multi-talented Passion in Practice Shakespeare Ensemble, who will be performing much-loved scenes from the plays. They will be joined by broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, actress June Brown and poet John Agard, reading their favourite Shakespearean passages; live music from the fabulous folk duo The Askew Sisters; specially commissioned pieces by acclaimed theatre companies, Graeae and The Big House and a brand new work by LionHeart, the award-winning spoken word artist. DJ Muzz Khan will see the night out with some Shakespearean club sounds.

Perform your take on some of The Bard’s greatest characters in our Shakespeare Karaoke from SHAOKE; interact with Foan & Fortune's roving Caliban puppet crafted from Shakespeare's pages; explore the Shakespeare Sharing Sofa; or experience the astonishing human Sonnet jukebox William Sutton.


There will be food and drinks from The East London Liquor Company will be on hand with Shakespeare-themed cocktails taken from new book Shakespeare, Not Stirred. 

If you want to be part of the entertainment, send a one minute video of yourself performing a Shakespeare Sonnet. Passion in Practice will select their favourites to join them on the night.

From 18 April, Passion in Practice Shakespeare Ensemble become our Company in Residence and will host open rehearsals in the Entrance Hall.

Passion in Practice was conceived in 2010 by actor and writer Ben Crystal. They perform Shakespeare’s works as simply as possible, using original staging practices and few costumes or props. They take inspiration from the buildings they work in, emulating the working relationship Shakespeare’s actors experienced.

The Askew Sisters, Emily and Hazel, are fast becoming one of the most popular and respected duos on the English folk scene. From dark ballads to uplifting dance tunes, they play with the driving energy and unity of two people who have played together all their lives. The sisters use fiddle, melodeon and concertina to breath-taking effect, creating cinematic arrangements that get to the heart of each song.

LionHeart, born Rhael Cape, is a London-based Spoken Word Artist. Drawing on personal experiences and observations, he is regarded as one of the most passionate poetry performers of his generation. Strongly inspired by his and others interaction with the world, he's been labelled passionate, powerful and emotionally provocative.

The Big House is a theatre company that has developed a unique model of working with care leavers and young people at risk that combines theatre with wraparound support, psychotherapy and long term mentoring. Sir Lenny Henry CBE said “I'm convinced The Big House is plugged into the community in a way that other charities are not. A genuine life transformer, helping the lost to locate a path and stick to it”

Graeae is a force for change in world class theatre – breaking down barriers, challenging pre-conceptions and boldly placing Deaf and disabled artists centre stage. Artistically led by Jenny Sealey MBE, Graeae’s signature characteristic is the creative integration of sign language, audio description and captioning, which engages brilliantly with both disabled and non-disabled audiences. Championing accessibility and providing a platform for new generations of artists, Graeae leads the way in pioneering, trail-blazing theatre.

Muzz Kahn has been a DJ on the London and European circuit for nearly a decade, playing his trade at the likes of Ministry of Sound, Proud Camden, O2 Academy Brixton, Pacha London and KOKO to name a few. He has also spun for the likes of Game of Thrones and the Royal Shakespeare Company. As an actor, Muzz's many screen credits include: 24, Catastrophe, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and Galavant. On the Shakespeare stage, he has appeared in Janet Suzman's Antony and Cleopatra and the RSC's Much Ado About Nothing.

Foan & Fortune is an innovative, award-winning company that fuses puppetry, design and performance to create real theatre magic. Winners of the MIMETIC13 FIRSTS award, Helen Foan and Marie Fortune have over 10 years combined experience working in all areas of the theatre. Companies they have worked with include: Birmingham Rep, Birmingham Stage, Oxford Shakespeare Company, Significant Object and Blind Summit.


Name: Late at the Library: World Book Night celebrates Shakespeare
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546