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National Libraries Day: Researching the History of the National Art Library

V&A Interior - Entrance to The National Art Library; with architectural pediment above the door; 
V&A Museum; 
23rd December 2013.

Did you know that the Library is older than the V&A itself? Or that one of its early Keepers, the irascible W. H. James Weale, once chased an unwary bookseller through the reading room for trying to sell him a collection of ‘obscene prints’? Or that it counts not one but three copies of Shakespeare’s […]

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DAY 3 @ the V&A: Behind the Scenes of my Shakespeare Course

Platform Shoes, Vivian Westwood, 1993

This is a guest post by Dr Enza De Francisci who is currently preparing a Shakespeare and Italy course at the V&A supported by the University College London-King’s College London Collaborative Learning Fellowship in the Arts, Society and the Humanities (Arts and Humanities Research Council) Today’s day at the V&A involved taking my international students […]

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Day Two at the V&A: Behind the Scenes of my Shakespeare Course

Gilded teak angel by Hibbert C, Binney known as The Spirit of Gaiety and originally designed for the dome of the first Gaiety Theatre, Aldwych, where it was erected in March 1904. Hibbert C. Binney

This is a guest post by Dr Enza De Francisci who is currently preparing a Shakespeare and Italy course at the V&A supported by the University College London-King’s College London Collaborative Learning Fellowship in the Arts, Society and the Humanities (Arts and Humanities Research Council)   So it is Day Two of my Shakespeare Course […]

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‘Mouthing for snuff-boxes’: David Garrick, Macbeth and a gold snuffbox

Garrick's snuffbox

Is this a dagger, which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? (Macbeth, II.i.33-34) David Garrick (1717-79) delivered Macbeth’s famous soliloquy 37 times on the London stage between 1744 and 1768. Thomas Wilkes, in A General View of the Stage (1759), attempted to describe the manner of Garrick’s performance, specifically his unrivaled ability […]

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Behind the Scenes of my Shakespeare Course

A view of Shakespeare's Macbeth on stage at Covent Garden, mid 1760s, Unknown Artist, Italy c.1570 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This is a guest post by Dr Enza De Francisci who is currently preparing a Shakespeare and Italy course at the V&A supported by the University College London-King’s College London Collaborative Learning Fellowship in the Arts, Society and the Humanities Sometime last year, I came across an email advertising a Collaborative Fellowship in Learning in […]

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Peter Brook at the V&A

Peter Brook

V&A Acquires Personal Papers of Britain’s Greatest Living Theatre Director, Peter Brook “The theatre is the last forum where idealism is open to question: many audiences all over the world will answer positively from their own experience that they have seen the face of the invisible through an experience on the stage that transcended their […]

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In Shakespeare’s Shoes – poetry competition winners!

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As part of the V&A Shakespeare Festival this year, and in celebration of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on 23 April, the V&A teamed up with the Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network to launch a poetry competition inspired by Shakespeare. The competition asked writers to imagine what it would be like to step into the […]

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V&A at Wilderness

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7 – 10 August The V&A Department of Theatre and Performance is thrilled to be heading to Wilderness Festival this summer! Following the success of the V&A Shakespeare Festival, and to continue our celebrations around the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance will curate a special programme of events […]

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Digital Kids at the Shakespeare Festival

“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.”  (As You Like It, Act II Scene VII) Over the Easter holidays this apt quote became a reality but it was the kids in the museum who became the performers, playwrights, set designers and directors! As part of the Digital Kids activities […]

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Drawing Shakespeare at the V&A

Shakespeare continues to be an inspiration for people from all walks of life, all around the world. This was reflected in the diverse programme of the V&A’s Shakespeare Festival, as well as in the creative responses to the Festival events themselves. Siân Schiaparelli, artist and illustrator, captured the Festival in a number of beautiful sketches […]

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