York International Shakespeare Festival runs between 21st April and 1st May 2023.
A message from Dr Saffron Vickers Walking, York International Shakespeare Festival Advisor and Senior Lecturer in English Literature at York St John University.
are delighted to continue working closely with the York International Shakespeare Festival (@YorkShakes) for its 2023 edition. This year, we have a number of exciting, award-winning productions coming to the main stage in our new Creative Centre, and we are honoured to be showcasing the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Ukraine. Alongside this we are hosting workshops, readings, talks, displays and our afternoon exploring Shakespeare (and) Sanctuary. This festival aligns closely with York St John University’s commitment to social justice, inclusion and diversity, and in these sometimes divisive times, we celebrate how Shakespeare can bring us together. So come and join us! Booking information below. If you are on social media, please follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
York International Shakespeare Festival have ensured that the tickets for all events at York St John venues are affordable to encourage student and community engagement. We have a small number of complimentary tickets for any York St John student who is facing financial hardship in this cost of living crisis. We also have some complimentary tickets for volunteers. Please email Saffron as soon as possible. Scroll down for the email address and for information about volunteering opportunities. The festival has also provided a number of work placements for students on the department’s employability module.
We also have a Pass It On ticket scheme to support refugees and asylum seekers finding sanctuary in Yorkshire to attend the productions at York St John University. In particular, we anticipate strong interest in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so please consider getting a ticket to pass on, and sharing this scheme with your contacts. Further details here.
Productions here at York St John University’s Creative Centre:
Macbeth by Flabbergast Theatre, 8pm Wednesday 26th April, concessions £5. Information and ticket booking here. Playing to their strengths and background in puppetry, clown, mask, ensemble and physical theatre, Flabbergast have developed their first text-based production (with extensive R&D with Wilton’s Musical Hall London and Grotowski Institute Poland) to foster the bard’s original text accompanied by and supported with exhilarating live music to produce a provocative and enjoyably accessible show. In English.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Kyiv National Academic Molodyy Theatre, 8pm Friday 28th April, concessions £5. Information and ticket booking here. How does the well-known romantic comedy by Shakespeare sound in the context of a Ukrainian traditional rite? In the global narrative, we locate the key to the national code and adapt it to the present. We establish parallels with our historical stories by changing the major characters from Greeks to Ukrainians.
Other events include:
Molodyy Theatre Open Workshop for Actors and Theatre Makers (you can be an audience member for this), 10am Saturday 29th April. Pay what you can. Information and ticket booking here. Followed by Molodyy Theatre Making Theatre In Ukraine Today Q&A, 12 noon Saturday 29th April. Pay what you can. Information and ticket booking here.
Shakespeare (and) Sanctuary curated by Saffron Vickers Walkling and Nicoleta Cinpoes. 2pm Saturday 29th April. Free. Information and booking here. An afternoon of talks, presentations and discussion exploring elements of Shakespeare and Social Justice, presented by York St John University, the European Shakespeare Research Association and the York International Shakespeare Festival.
If you are interested in global work inspired by Shakespeare, then you can attend the free introduction to and staged reading of Marin Sorecu’s play Cousin Shakespeare, translated from Romanian into English. 4.30 and 6pm, Wednesday 26th April. Information and booking here.
York St John’s library will also have a display to reflect the York International Shakespeare Festival and showcase our resources.
There are many other wonderful events across the city of York – click here for the full York International Shakespeare Festival programme and here for the York International Shakespeare Festival Brochure . There is an all-day sonnet marathon, Shakespeare stand-up, community theatre, Shakespeare’s Fool, Riding Light’s production of Richard III, book launches, European plays in translation, symposium, Shakespeare storytelling for children, theatre workshops, exhibitions and more – so something for everyone.
YSJ Volunteering Opportunities:
We have a number of exciting volunteer opportunities for you and would love to hear from you as soon as possible!
Be a part of our FOCUS GROUP: go to between 4 and 8 events across the festival, including some of the productions at YSJ, and we will follow up with a couple of meetings with you to discuss your feedback (and some simple forms for you to fill in to help us get an idea of the impact of the festival). We have some complimentary tickets available.
Write a blog post for either the English Literature blog, Words Matter, or the YorkShakes blog. Let us know which play or event you would like to review. We have some complimentary tickets available.
Please email Saffron for either of these options: firstname.lastname@example.org
YISF Volunteering Opportunities:
There are many and varied volunteer opportunities festival wide, including festival preparation in the run up to the festival and front of house during the festival. Email Artistic Director Philip Parr for further details: email@example.com