‘In celebration of this day with shows, Pageants, and sights of honour.’
Henry VIII, Act 4, scene 1.
‘Entered for their copy under the hands of Master Doctor Worrall and Master Cole, warden; ‘Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies’
From the entry of The First Folio on the 8th November 1623 in the Stationers’ Register at The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers, Ave Maria Lane, London.
A comprehensive website exploring the Folio’s publication, the people involved, the plays and where the remaining 235 First Folios are today. The site puts together the printed with the spoken word, with leading actors reading from The Munro First Folio. Over 60 original images have been created, made using similar techniques to those of 1623. Folio400 contributors tell us what the Folio means to them. You are there now!
An exhibition at a leading London or regional museum, looking at the role The First Folio has played in Culture and Art over the last 400 years.
Examining the First Folio’s birth and how it became ‘The World’s Most Wanted Book’. The tale of a tortuous journey from an inky print-house in London to the present day, the cultural shockwave it has spread across the world, and the devotion it inspires among those who covet it.
Using imagination and wit to fill the gaps between the facts we know, this will be an inspirational, humorous and human story telling how the First Folio came to be, and how it very nearly came not to be. A story has been written by Dominic Dromgoole, and a screenplay written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman.
We hope to assist with linking up with lyric theatre houses which aim to share in this celebration of Shakespeare’s enduring stories, and in cross-promoting their events.
A commemorative statue of these two great men who ‘gave us Shakespeare’ and who ‘deserve the gratitude of mankind’. A limited edition, perhaps, to be placed in cities of Folio significance (London, Washington DC, Meisei etc.,)
During 2023, Folio400 will arrange interactive webinars to expand, share and discuss various aspects of the First Folio.
Emma Smith (University of Oxford) and Tiffany Stern (Shakespeare Institute), with the backing of the Bodleian Libraries Oxford, are encouraging all Folio-owners to allow their copy to be on public display on Folio Day – 23 April 2023. Contact [email protected] for more details.
The list is by no means exhaustive. Folio400 aspires to be as inclusive as the book whose birthday it celebrates. Shakespeare wrote for us all; he shows us all what it is to be human. Folio400 welcomes any other ideas from anywhere, and offers the opportunity to share them on this platform.