Dreamt of directing Shakespeare? Well, here’s your chance

A free community workshop will give people the chance to have a go at directing Shakespeare.

The event, which will shed new light on a neglected Shakespeare play, is part of the UK’s national celebration of the humanities, Being Human Festival, which comes to the University of Leicester on Friday 17 November.

William Shakespeare is probably most famous for his inspiring poetry of love. But the theatre workshop, run by Professor Mary Ann Lund of the University’s School of Arts and artists from the East Midlands-based 1623 Theatre company, will explore a darker side to our national playwright: his depiction of the depths of complete and utter hatred. They’ll be revealing what lies behind Timon of Athens, one of Shakespeare’s most bitter and twisted dramas, and how it speaks to us today. And those who come to the workshop will help bring a scene from the play to life.

Professor Lund said: “Timon of Athens is one of Shakespeare’s least known plays, but it has so much to say about the issues that preoccupy our society today. Timon starts out super-rich but squanders all his wealth and ends up destitute and alone, rejecting the world. We’ll be exploring Timon’s story and asking why he turns against humanity, while experimenting with new ways to stage Shakespeare’s play for our time.”

Ben Spiller, Artistic Director of 1623 Theatre, said: “Our theatre makers will be taking part in a fun, creative and interactive workshop exploring one of Shakespeare’s most marginalised and neglected plays. You might want to act, direct, observe, discuss or suggest – it is totally up to you how you take part. No previous experience is necessary and everyone is welcome.”

This free workshop is on Friday 17 November, at 5.15pm at the Attenborough Arts Centre. To book tickets, visit the Being Human Festival website.