Shakespeare Week 2018


From 16 to 20 April we celebrate William Shakespeare with a week of cultural events open to all members of the Harold Acton Library, existing and new.

The theme of this year’s week is Measure for Measure (1603)

Monday 16 April
15.00        Film
 Desmond Davis’ Measure for Measure (1979), 145 minutes. With Kenneth Colley, Kate Nelligan, Tim Pigott-Smith.
 In the 1970's the BBC produced a series of 37 Shakespeare plays for TV broadcast. Measure for Measure was its first critical hit demonstrating how effective Shakespeare could be on the small screen, with cameraman-turned-director Desmond Davis striking a perfect balance between intimacy and grandeur. The screening will be in the original English language version with English subtitles.
Tuesday 17 April
15.00-18.00     Public Reading
 Measure for Measure is a drama that interweaves sexuality, morality and power. In Vienna, the Duke is unwilling to use his authority to clean up the city, beset with brothels and loose morality. He departs and leaves his deputy, Angelo, with the task.
 Library members are welcome to come and listen or join in the reading. The reading will be primarily in English, but readers are welcome to read aloud in other languages.
Wednesday 18 April
18.00         Cultural Programme: Lecture in English
Eric Nicholson
‘Measure for Measure’ and the quest to overcome sexual tyranny.
One of Shakespeare’s last and most complex comedies, Measure for Measure is often labelled a ‘problem play’. This talk will propose that the problem, however, lies not in the script, but with male critics who have had trouble recognising how the play puts on stage—and to a certain extent on trial—various sexually abusive hypocrisies, coercions, and self-contradictions of patriarchal government. Eric Nicholson teaches in Florence at NYU and Syracuse.
20.00       Film
Dominic Dromgoole’s Measure for Measure (2015),
163 minutes. With Juliet Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Angelo Kurt Egyiawan, Isabella Mariah Gale. Shakespeare’s Globe 2015 production of Measure for Measure filmed on the Globe stage. The screening will be in the original English language version with English subtitles.
Thursday 19 April
17.00 It’s Storytime!
Reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Illustrated stories from Shakespeare (Usborne
Publishing Ltd) and workshop. For children aged 5 to 10, but all ages are welcome.


17.00 Concert, poetry and Afternoon Tea
Elizabethan music by lutenist and theorbist Gian Luca Lastraioli and readings of Elizabethan poetry. Tea and cakes will be served from 16.30.

Friday 20 April
9.15-17.15 The Italian Association of Shakespearean and Early Modern Studies (IASEMS) Graduate Conference at The British Institute of Florence: “Conversion in Early Modern British Literature and Culture” 
The IASEMS Graduate Conference at The British Institute in Florence is a one day
interdisciplinary and bilingual English Italian forum open to PhD students and researchers. This year’s conference will focus on the theme of conversion, a fascinating phenomenon that blends elements of individual experience with larger problems of historical change.
Full programme online:
Shakespeare Workshops
During Shakespeare Week the British Institute of Florence organises special workshops for highschool students. For more information:

All events take place at the Harold Acton Library, Lungarno Guicciardini 9, Firenze.

Membership of the Harold Acton Library is required. Membership options include annual (€ 75), three months (€ 50) and 24 hour (€ 6) memberships.
Membership is not a requirement for the public reading on Tuesday and for the IASEMS Graduate Conference on Friday.