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An Invitation to the Shakespeare and Poland Festival

Shakespeare and Poland Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon, 24-25 June 2023.

The Polish Cultural Institute in London is delighted to invite you to participate in a selection of fantastic events as part of the Shakespeare and Poland Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon, in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of a statue of Jan Kochanowski, a Renaissance Polish poet and contemporary of Shakespeare in the sculpture garden at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage in 2022, and the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Kochanowski’s statue represents the strong cultural links which exist between Britain and Poland and is also an expression of the friendship and cooperation that exists between the two countries’ cultural communities, a cooperation that is also at the heart of this festival.

The festival kicks off with an event held in collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust entitled ShakesPEERS Picnic: Celebrating Jan Kochanowski, Shakespeare, and the Natural World.

This family-friendly picnic will be held at the Yew Tree Circle by Anne Hathaway's Cottage on Saturday, 24 June between 10am and 4pm, and will feature an array of interactive and engaging nature-themed activities inspired by the shared love of the natural world by both Jan Kochanowski and Shakespeare. They will include storytelling, a beekeeper’s demonstration, herbalist workshops, poetry workshops, a treasure hunt and folk music and dance provided by Birmingham-based Polish folk song and dance ensemble Wieśniacy. The event will be a great chance to pack your picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy a fun-filled day for all ages.

Entry is free, but advanced registration is necessary: ShakesPEERS Picnic (

On the evening of 24 June (6:30-8:30pm), the Polish Cultural Institute, together with the Polish Book Institute, invite guests to Stratford’s Bear Pit Theatre to explore the historical and cultural ties between Britain and Poland through a dramatic reading (in English) of 'The Dismissal of the Greek Envoys' (1578), the first-ever drama written in the Polish language. The reading will be based on a translation into English by Charles Kraszewski.

Directed by Jason Morell, renowned for his work at Shakespeare's Globe, the staging will bring to life a captivating play that has influenced Polish theatre for over 400 years. Witness the collision and alignment of state interests, politics, morals, and rationality during the Trojan War, portrayed by a talented cast of actors with impressive track records from the RSC, National Theatre, and Shakespeare's Globe.

Translator Charles Kraszewski will deliver a talk on the background of the play, followed by a Q&A session with Jason Morell and Charles Kraszewski, expertly moderated by Professor Tony Howard from Warwick University.

Tickets for the performance are priced at £5 and can be purchased here:

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Ambulance Aid and Medical Aid Ukraine.

On the second day of the festival, Sunday 25 June, in partnership with Copernicana CIC, the Polish Cultural Institute invites everyone to a Fundraising Concert for Ukraine in Support of Ambulance Aid and Medical Aid Ukraine, showcasing the beauty of classical music by Chopin combined with Ukrainian music. The concert will feature the talented pianist Lucas Krupinski, a Steinway artists and winner of numerous international Piano competitions, and the captivating performance of Ukrainian soprano Inna Husieva, who will present a selection of pieces by Ukrainian composers.

Adding depth to the cultural experience, the concert will be preceded by a short introductory talk by Professor Tony Howard on literary links between Poland, Britain and Stratford, entitled, ‘A better world than this: Shakespeare and Poland’.

Tickets are priced at £15 and can be reserved here:

All proceeds from the concert will support Ambulance Aid and Medical Aid Ukraine's efforts to send ambulances and medical aid to Ukraine.

For more information and the full programme of events, please visit:


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