We can’t wait to celebrate Shakespeare at The National Theatre, are you coming too pal?

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare – The National Theatre have put together a host of wonderful events from April 19 – 22.

We can’t wait to get our cultural thinking caps on, are you going to be joining us?!

happy dance

The development of The National Theatre has been centred and heavily influenced by the texts of Shakespeare,

For all the info on the upcoming events, keep reading.


Flytower Film:** Olivier’s Henry V

Fri 22 April, 8pm, Flytower, free

The National’s iconic Flytower becomes an outdoor cinema, showing the film that earned the NT’s first Director, Laurence Olivier, a special Academy Award for outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director.


The Web of Our Life: Shakespeare and…

Using the plays for inspiration, this series looks at how the works continue to tap into everyday issues and key themes, with a leading NT actor and an expert in each field joining Genista McIntosh in conversation.

… Old Age

with Simon Russell Beale

Tue 19 April, 5.45pm (1hr), Olivier Theatre, £6/£5

Actor Simon Russell Beale, who played the title role in King Lear in 2014 at the NT, is joined by Simon Lovestone, Professor of Translational Neuroscience and Dementia Research at the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, to look at how memory and ageing is explored in Shakespeare’s play, and how the situations experienced by the characters might be mirrored today.

… Migration

with Lenny Henry

Wed 20 April, 3pm (1hr), Olivier Theatre, £6/£5

Actor Lenny Henry, who played Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errorsin 2011 at the NT, and George Alagiah, BBC journalist, author of A Home From Home, and Friend of the Migration Museum Project, look at how migration and exile is explored in Shakespeare’s play, and its relevance today.

… Family

with Clare Higgins

Wed 20 April, 5.45pm (1hr), Olivier, £6/£5

Actor Clare Higgins, who played Gertrude in Hamlet in 2010 at the NT, is among the guests looking at how family and gender is explored in Shakespeare’s plays.

Shakespeare at the NT

Fri 22 April, Clore Learning Centre and Lyttelton Theatre

The Beginnings

10am (90mins), Clore Learning Centre, £8/£6

The Shakespeare Memorial National Theatre: a journey through the early history of the struggle to bring a National Theatre to Britain.

Ailsa Grant Ferguson of the University of Brighton focuses on three key moments – the Shakespeare Memorial Ball in 1911, Shakespeare’s England exhibition in 1912, and the building of the incredible Shakespeare Hut in 1916 .

The 20th Century

12noon (90mins), Clore Learning Centre, £8/£6

Daniel Rosenthal, author of The National Theatre Story, explores a series of landmark productions at the NT, illuminating the work of directors and actors. The seminar will feature some of the NT’s extraordinary collection of archive material – photographs, correspondence, designs and more.

The 21st Century

with Nicholas Hytner

2.30pm (1hr), Lyttelton Theatre, £6/£5

The former Director of the NT talks to Abigail Rokison-Woodall about his enormous contribution to the history of Shakespeare at this venue. In her forthcoming book, Shakespeare in the Theatre: Nicholas Hytner.

She looks at his career through his Shakespeare productions, including those of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Timon of Athens and Othello at the NT.

Writer for Today

6pm, Lyttelton Theatre, £5/£4

A discussion on how the idea of Shakespeare as our contemporary has been absorbed into the culture, the impact in terms of modern productions, and what the future holds.

Guests include Dominic Cooke (director of the NT’s The Comedy of Errors, and BBC’s The Hollow Crown – The Wars of the Roses) and Ben Power (adapter of Romeo and Juliet and The Comedy of Errors for Primary Shakespeare for the NT, and the screenplays for two series of the BBC’s Shakespeare films, The Hollow Crown).


5 Hamlets

Opens Monday 18 April, Lyttelton Lounge, free

A new exhibition from the NT Archive, featuring recordings, props, designs, costume and more from the NT’s five productions of Hamlet – which opened the NT in 1963, our South Bank building in 1976, and has been produced more than any other Shakespeare play.

We cam’t wait pop down to The National Theatre now, can you? Let us know over on Twitter @maximumpop.

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Written by Hannah Lovejoy

I'm the Film & TV Channel Manager at MP! I love sitcoms and Rosa Diaz is my spirit animal. I probably drink too much coffee - also guilty of quoting Hamilton The Musical on a daily basis. Tweet me @HanLovejoy!

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