During the last few weeks, the 'Famous Beyond Words' exhibition at the Shakespeare Centre has seen some changes. Over the space of several days, the back end of the gallery has been transformed to house new displays with the theme Be Inspired: Shakespeare & Me, a celebration of the creativity inspired by Shakespeare.
The exhibition draws attention to the variety of personal ways in which people can and do respond to Shakespeare and includes individual stories about how artists, actors, editors, writers etc have been inspired throughout history and into modern times. Many of the objects on display have rarely been exhibited before, including Ethel Webling’s personal record of a performance of Julius Caesar from 1898, which she painstakingly hand illustrated, and a tiny King Lear inspired maquette created by sculptor Greg Wyatt.
There are also items relating to David Garrick, the 18th century actor, writer and director who organised the first ever Shakespeare Jubilee. Warwickshire artist Ann Rogers has kindly loaned us two of her beautiful bags based on Shakespearian characters, and there's even Shakespearian science fiction in the form of William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher.
The exhibition has been created with the help of contributors from around the world who have told us their stories and given permission for their works to appear. Most of the quotes they have given us are unique to this exhibition and written especially for it, so we owe a huge thank you to them for taking part.
As well as creating new displays at the Shakespeare Centre, we have also released an online version of the exhibition: Be Inspired: Shakespeare and Me featuring even more stories and creative works, including films and music.
We would love to hear from you if you’ve been inspired by Shakespeare in your life or work. Use #ShakespeareAndMe on social media to share your stories with us!