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King’s Lynn Shakespeare Festival

Fri 26th - Sun 28th Apr 2019, St George’s Guildhall.

The first King’s Lynn Shakespeare Festival will take place over three days in April 2019, celebrating the works of the Bard in workshops, performance and discussion.

Built in 1410, St George’s Guildhall was first used as a theatre in 1442. It has been used as a theatre for more than half of its 608-year history, making it the oldest theatre in the UK by over 200 years.

Academic research supports the theory that William Shakespeare performed at the Guildhall in 1592, making St George’s Guildhall the only theatre in the world to claim that Shakespeare performed there.

The weekend will feature guests from stage and academia to honour Shakespeare’s connection with the town, with two guest performances by Sir Ian McKellen.

The festival will hosted by Andrew Jarvis, a Trustee of the British Shakespeare Association and one of the most respected Shakespearean actors of his generation. Andrew said, “There will be special performances, professional acting workshops and seminars where leading scholars will explore the nature of Shakespeare’s theatre, specifically his appearance in King’s Lynn in 1592. There will also be a Shakespearean acting workshop for young people aged 16 plus.”

He continued, “During these three days we wish both to celebrate the work of the greatest dramatic poet the world has ever known, and we also strive for the fullest exploration that the known evidence will allow, to trace and to understand our town’s connection with the man and his work.”

The full 3 day programme of events is:

Friday 26th April, 10.30am - 12.30pm Workshop

The words of Shakespeare in performance: A practical workshop on the acting of Shakespeare. Suitable for students 16+.

Friday 26th April, 7.30pm Performance

A celebratory performance of Shakespeare.

 Saturday 27th April 10.00am - 12.15pm & 1.15pm - 3.30pm Talk

Five leading Shakespearean scholars explore the evidence surrounding Shakespeare’s possible appearance at the Guildhall of St George as an actor and writer in 1592.

 Saturday 27th April 7.30pm & Sunday 28th 2.30pm Ian McKellen On Stage

A guest performance by Sir Ian McKellen with Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and YOU

Sunday 28th April 10.30am - 12.30pm Talk

Closing round table discussion with the five scholars plus an open panel and audience contributions summarising the acting workshop, the talks and the performances held during the festival.

All tickets can be purchased at or by phone on 01553 764864.

See for further details.