Actor and expert play parts in Shakespeare exhibition

Michael Maloney duelling with Kenneth Branagh in Branagh's Hamlet

Michael Maloney duelling with Kenneth Branagh in Branagh's Hamlet

Two leading authorities on Shakespeare are on their way to Warwick to take part in a festival commemorating the Bard at St Mary’s church.

Guest lecturer Alison Weir, the biggest-selling female historian in the UK who has published 23 titles and sold more than 2.7 million books, will talk about Richard III: The Man and the Myth showing that truth is far more stranger than fiction. Her talk takes place on Wednesday May 11.

And the church’s screening of Henry V, directed by Kenneth Branagh, will include a pre-screening discussion with actor Michael Maloney. Michael has played a wide range on stage and screen. He starred alongside Branagh as the Dauphin in Henry V and played Laertes in Hamlet and Roderigo in Othello. The event takes place on Tuesday May 17.

Their visits are part of Shakespeare 400: History, Heritage and Faith, a festival and exhibition which was opened at the church last month by Dame Judi Dench and features two landmark works of the English language – a Shakespeare First Folio from 1623, courtesy of the V&A Museum, and a first edition of the King James Bible from 1611, courtesy of Cambridge University.

The exhibition runs until Thursday June 30.

Other highlights will include An Evening of Shakespeare in Song on Saturday June 4. It features Da Capo Chamber Choir, with guest readers Amanda Root and Anton Lesser, who played Fagin in the BBC’s recent drama series Dickensian and was Thomas More in the BBC’s acclaimed production of Wolf Hall.

For younger audiences there will be a Sonnet Slam on Friday June 24 with Warwick’s Young Poet Laureate Harry Jenkins and hosted by Fred Theatre, performing Shakespeare-inspired poetry in the atmospheric surroundings of St Mary’s crypt.

And for the very young, there’s Silly Billy Shakespeare’s Hullabaloo, an outdoor ‘music and mayhem’ activity afternoon for toddlers and their adults, hosted by Rhythm Time on Monday June 20.

Visit www.stmaryswarwick.org.uk or call 403940 for more information.