Shakespeare Lives

What is Shakespeare Lives?

Shakespeare Lives is a global programme of events and activities that celebrated the world's most popular playwright's work on the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016.

The programme included a host of events, including innovative theatre and dance performances, film screenings, globally sourced art exhibitions, and educational resources for English language learners.

What was involved in 2016?

In May 2016, British Council Australia supported two Shakespeare-themed literature and music events during the Sydney Writers' Festival - a week-long extravaganza of ideas and literature, with an extraordinary range of headlining international and local writers.

We supported multi-award-winning UK author Jeanette Winterson's attendance at the Festival, where she spoke about her new novel, 'The Gap of Time', a cover version of Shakespeare’s 'The Winter’s Tale'. Watch our interview with Jeanette, where she talks to us about her new novel and why she thinks Shakespeare's works are so successful in being able to withstand the test of time.

We also supported an event with one of Australia’s pre-eminent singer-songwriters and wordsmiths, Paul Kelly. Paul discussed his new work, 'Seven Sonnets & A Song' and spoke with actress, writer and Bell Shakespeare Fellow, Kate Mulvany about the continuing fascination with the Bard. 

Another major highlight of the global programme was a mass participation project inviting people worldwide to respond creatively to scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, culminating in a crowd-sourced digital reimagining of Shakespeare’s works. 

More information about the programme and its highlights can be found on the Shakespeare Lives website.