Shakespeare Week

From 18 to 23 April

From 18 to 23 April we celebrate William Shakespeare’s birth and the 400th anniversary of his death with a full week of cultural events open to all members of the Harold Acton Library.

The theme of this year’s week is Shakespeare and Italy.

To receive the full list of the screenings please email  


Monday 18 April

18:00 Exhibition of works by SACI students. They explore the theme of Shakespeare and Italy with paintings, drawings and photography. They are inspired by the Bard and his work in relationship to Italy; at the same time they reflect on and express their own relationship to Italy and their experience of living in this country.


Tuesday 19 April

15:00 Public reading of the play Much Ado About Nothing

All are welcome to come and listen or to join in the reading. Shakespeare is meant to be read aloud; everything is right there in the dialogue. Without sets, props or costumes we read the play as a group, finding new meaning in the magic of hearing the lines spoken. While we read primarily in English, readers are welcome to read aloud in other languages. Followed by a buffet provided by the Friends of the Library.

20:00 Film screening


Wednesday 20 April

18:00 Talk on Speaking Shakespeare in the English-speaking Cinema by Professor Russell Jackson

In the late 1920s, when synchronised sound came in, dialogue was suddenly important and Shakespeare’s words could be heard when a ‘Shakespeare film’ was made. But with opportunities came responsibilities. The talk considers some of these implications, and the ways in which film-makers have addressed them.  Professor Russell Jackson has been a Fellow (and latterly, Director) of the Shakespeare Institute, before joining the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts of the University of Birmingham as Allardyce Nicoll chair in 2004. His work focuses on the relationships between text and performance.

20:00 Film screening


Thursday 21 April

15:00 Film screening


Friday 22 April

9:15 - 18:00 The IASEMS Graduate Conference at the British Institute of Florence: Prophecy and Conspiracy in Early Modern England. Timetable to be confirmed.

This year’s papers address, from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, the impact and the implications of prophecy and conspiracy in early modern English texts. The 2016 IASEMS Graduate Conference at The British Institute in Florence is a one-day interdisciplinary forum open to PhD students and researchers who have obtained their doctorates within the past five years.

For further information please visit the IASEMS website here

For the complete programme click here. 


Saturday 23 April

18:00 at the Odeon Cinema Stage version on screen of Lindsey Turner's Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch (2015), 155 mins. For further information please visit the Odeon Cinema website here. 


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

Membership of the Harold Acton Library is required. Membership options include annual (€ 70), three months (€ 20) and 24-hour (€ 5) membership. We have also created a special Shakespeare Week membership for only €15, covering all events and films (excluding the Odeon Cinema event). Please note that membership is not a requirement for the public reading of Much Ado About Nothing on Tuesday 19 April and for the IASEMS Graduate Conference on Friday 22 April.