Join Somerset Libraries in celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

On and around the Bard’s birthday on Saturday 23 April  Somerset County Council’s libraries will be joining in with local and national celebrations to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Libraries up and down the country will be inviting their customers to get involved in a national Twitter campaign starting on Saturday 23 April to print or handwrite their favourite Shakespeare quote, take a selfie with the quote, and tweet it using the hashtag #shakespeare16. This will form a real-time, continuously updating list of the nation’s favourite Shakespeare quotes.

On a local level, Somerset Library Service is delighted to welcome local performance group Shakespeare Aloud to three libraries: Taunton, where they will be reading The Merchant of Venice ; Yeovil (Performing Arts Library) where there will be a full play reading of Twelfth Night, and Wellington where they will be reading extracts from Twelfth Night.

Come along, listen, or join in if you would like to; there is no charge, and previous events have been much enjoyed.

Yeovil Library will also play host to the Librarian Theatre, who will be performing Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before. For more information about this performance and for details about how to book tickets please click here:

Minehead Library will be organising a Shakespeare day for Saturday 23 April, with Coffee and Cakespeare, a quiz for adults, and an event for 6-9 year olds: ‘Quick fire Shakespeare with the grisly bits left in’.

For a full list of all library events please see below:

  • The Book’s the Thing: Hamlet performed at Yeovil library. (Monday 25 April 7.30pm) Cost: £7 for adults, £4 for concessions.
  • Shakespeare Aloud reading of Merchant of Venice at Taunton library. (Saturday 23 April 10am – 2pm). Cost: Free  
  • Shakespeare Aloud reading of Twelfth Night at Wellington library. (Saturday 30 April 10am – 12pm). Cost: Free
  • Shakespeare Aloud reading of Twelfth Night at Yeovil Performing Arts library. (Wednesday 27 April 10:30am – 2:30pm) Cost: Free
  • Coffee and Cakespeare at Minehead library. (Saturday 23 April 10:30am – 12pm). Cost: £1.50
  • Adult Shakespeare Quiz at Minehead library, provided by the Library Reading Group. (Saturday 23 April, all day). Cost: 20p to enter.
  • Quick fire Shakespeare with the grisly bits left in, including Tudor crafts. For 6-9 year olds. (Saturday 23 April 10:30am – 11.45am). Cost: £1
  • A special story time and crafts event for children at Porlock library (Saturday 23 April 10:30am – 11am),
  • A Shakespeare quiz for adults at Porlock library. (Saturday 23 April 10am – 1pm) Cost: Free.
  • A story time and Shakespeare lullaby at Wiveliscombe library (Friday 22 April 2:30pm – 3:00pm). Cost: Free
  • A Shakespeare Out Loud event at Williton Library, run by the Friends of Williton Library. (Saturday 23 April 10am – 12pm). Cost: Free

In addition, all the Somerset Libraries Feel Better with a Book groups will be including Shakespeare in their group reading sessions in the weeks preceding or following Saturday April 23.

shakespeare selfie