Shakespeare First Folio on Tour

Shakespeare First Folio on Tour


Posted 2023-03-23 by dpmfollow

Sun 23 Apr 2023 - Sat 21 Oct 2023

Birmingham’s historic Shakespeare First Folio is visiting community spaces during 2023 as part of the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project. Belonging to the residents of Birmingham, the People’s Folio will be toured around the city in advance of the First Folio’s 400th birthday in November.

The First Folio is a collection of William Shakespeare’s plays published in 1623. Only 235 copies are known to remain and Birmingham’s copy is the only one bought as part of a dedicated programme for improving people’s lives through culture and education. It was purchased in 1881 for the people of Birmingham.

Professor Ewan Fernie, Project Director of the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project, said: “Shakespeare belongs to everybody and the Birmingham First Folio is Birmingham’s present to its citizens. It’s the People’s Folio, it belongs to the people of Birmingham and it’s therefore really important to take it out and tell people ‘it’s yours’.”

The First Folio toured a series of venues last year. “The First Folio tour in 2022 was the first time in its history that it had visited communities across Birmingham and what a fantastic response we had from all those who saw it, many of whom queued to make sure they set eyes on it themselves,” said Prof Fernie. “We look forward to visiting more communities this year, providing more opportunities for the people of the city to see their copy of what is probably the most important secular book in Western culture.

The First Folio tour is aimed at raising awareness of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Memorial Library. Founded in 1864, the collection of more than 100,000 items is the first major Shakespeare library in the world and also the only extensive Shakespeare collection which belongs to the people of a city.

The tour comprises:
  • 23 April (Shakespeare’s Birthday) – Aston Hall
  • 13 May – South Yardley Library
  • 3 June – Dorothy Parkes Centre, Smethwick
  • 2 July – The Core Library, Solihull
  • 19 August – St Barnabas Church, Erdington
  • 21 October – Bullring & Grand Central, Birmingham.
  • Plus a special visit to the library at Winson Green Prison.

    The First Folio and its importance will also feature in a BBC Radio 3 programme Shakespeare’s Brum Ting on Sunday 26 March. Presented by Professor of Literature and History at Birmingham City University Islam Issa, the programme includes interviews with Professor Fernie and project collaborator and artist, Mohammed Ali.

    The ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands. For more information see



    !date 23/4/2023 -- 21/10/2023
    76353 - 2023-03-22 19:06:51


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