Spokespeople


 For informed comment and interviews about all things Shakespeare, talk to us.

If you are looking for authoritative comment on any aspect of Shakespeare's works, life and times, you have come to the right place.  We are also pleased to contribute regularly to coverage and discussion of issues affecting the cultural, heritage, tourism, education and museums sectors.

Some of our key spokespeople are listed below.  To arrange an interview with anyone working with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, please contact the Press Office.

 

Professor Stanley Wells CBE, Honorary President

One of the world's foremost Shakespearians, Stanley Wells is a Life Trustee and Former Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (1991-2011), Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, of which he was for many years Vice-Chairman. He holds a Ph. D. of the University of Birmingham, is an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford and of University College, London and holds honorary doctorates from Furman University, South Carolina, and from the Universities of Munich, Hull, Durham and Warwick, Marburg and Craiova.

His books include Literature and Drama; Royal Shakespeare: Studies of Four Major Productions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; Modernizing Shakespeare’s spelling; Re-editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader; and Shakespeare: the Poet and his Plays. He edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, and The Comedy of Errors for the New Penguin Shakespeare and King Lear for the Oxford Shakespeare. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual Shakespeare Survey, and writes for the New York Review of Books and many other publications. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare, co-author of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion and General Editor of the Penguin Shakespeare. His most recent books are Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism; The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare; The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (edited with Michael Dobson); Shakespeare For All Time; Looking for Sex in Shakespeare; Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Coffee with Shakespeare, both co-authored with Paul Edmondson; Shakespeare & Co.; Is It True What they Say About Shakespeare?; Shakespeare, Sex, and Love; Great Shakespeare Actors, and William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction. Together with Paul Edmondson he has edited Shakespeare Beyond Doubt and The Shakespeare Circle (forthcoming), for Cambridge University Press. 

Stanley Wells was elected The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's first Honorary President in June 2011.

For more detailed information about Stanley, please click here.

 

  on 10 June on  on 10   onPeter Kyle OBE, Chairman

Peter Kyle’s distinguished international career in the arts and cultural sector spans theatre, dance, arts management and governance as well as education roles. Peter has served on the Boards of numerous charitable organisations and he received the OBE for services to drama in the 2011 New Year’s Honours.

Former roles include: Director-General of The English Speaking Union, Chief Executive of The Scottish Ballet, Chairman of the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Dean of the Arts Educational Schools, London.  For 12 years, he led the development of Shakespeare’s Globe as Chief Executive. Best known for its theatre, the Shakespeare Globe Centre also provides extensive educational programmes and houses the world’s largest exhibition devoted to Shakespeare. Peter also served on the boards of the Shakespeare Globe Centres in America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Japan.

He is currently Chair of the Court and Pro Chancellor of the University of Westminster, Chairman of the Centre for Magic Arts, Honorary President of Tavaziva Dance Company, a Trustee of the Noel Coward Foundation and is a Trustee of the John Ellerman Foundation. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and an Honorary Fellow of South Bank University.

Peter Kyle was elected Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in June 2011.

 

Dr Diana Owen, CEO/Director

Diana Owen has led the financial and strategic transformation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust since she joined as Director in November 2007, developing the organisation as an outward-facing, participative charity which works to lead the world’s enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times.

Diana is an Honorary Governor of the RSC, a member of the English Speaking Union's Cultural Affairs Committee, a member of the National Trust's Midlands Regional Advisory Board and Vice-President of the Stratford-upon-Avon & District National Trust Association.  In 2011 she was presented with the Yamani Medal in recognition of the Trust's partnership work with the Iqbal Academy and in February 2012 was awarded the Pride of Stratford award for her outstanding contribution to life in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Born and brought up in India, Diana was educated in Winchester and at Leeds University, culminating in a PhD on British propaganda in the Second World War, Diana worked in publishing before joining the National Trust in 1988.  She managed Petworth in West Sussex, then became Area Manager for the National Trust’s properties firstly in Hampshire, London and the Isle of Wight, then in West Sussex and South Surrey, with responsibility for major infrastructure projects and public inquiries.

 


Rev. Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Research and Knowledge

Paul is Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and an Honorary Fellow of The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. His publications include: Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life, and (co-authored with Stanley Wells) Shakespeare's Sonnets. He has co-edited Shakespeare Beyond Doubt: Evidence, Argument, Controversy (with Stanley Wells) and A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival (with Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan). He is co-series editor for Palgrave Macmillan's Shakespeare Handbooks, and co-supervisory editor of the Penguin Shakespeare (to which he contributed several introductions). His other publications include work on Shakespearian biography, Shakespeare and the Brontës, and the poetry of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe.  In the summer of 2014 he made a special tour of the States and North America in search of Shakespeare across 10,000 miles and 14 Shakespeare Festivals in partnership with University of Warwick. He has taken up a number of poetic commissions for 2016, including a Shakespeare song cycle, the anthem for the Shakespeare Sunday service, and has produced a Shakespeare-themed libretto based on the final moments of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. His new publications include Shakespeare (Profile Books, 2015), and (co-edited with Stanley Wells) The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2016). He is an Associate Minister in The Church of England at St Andrew’s Church, Shottery (near Stratford-upon-Avon).